Digital service taxes should be applied across EuropeJuly 12, 2019
NEWS FROM OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
DIGITAL SERVICE TAXES SHOULD BE APPLIED ACROSS EUROPE
Digital service taxes should be applied universally across the EU, according to the Open Knowledge Foundation.
The UK government yesterday announced plans to press ahead with plans to introduce a new 2 per cent tax on large tech companies’ revenues, while the French senate has this week approved a digital services tax of 3 per cent.
But the proposals are fiercely opposed by the US, raising the prospect of retaliatory tariffs. Digital service taxes are designed to target large tech monopolies like Google and Facebook, amid ongoing concerns about the amount of tax paid by large corporations.
Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said the solution is Europe-wide action to prevent countries being ‘picked off’ one by one.
She also called for a tax transparency measure known as ‘public country-by-country reporting’ to finally be introduced.
Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said:
“We must work to build a fair, free and open digital world, which offers both the freedom of enterprise and the opportunity of empowerment.
“With new rules required for the digital age, it’s not surprising that countries like the UK and France are looking at digital service taxes.
“But piecemeal action that is opposed by the US will allow countries to be picked off one-by-one, which is why a Europe-wide solution is required.
“This is an example of how the EU can work as one, bringing small countries together, and I urge the new European Parliament to prioritise this.
“We also need to see greater transparency about how much tax large corporations are paying with public country-by-country reporting, so that we can rebuild trust and build a digital economy for the many.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Policy paper: Introduction of the new Digital Services Tax https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-the-new-digital-services-tax/introduction-of-the-new-digital-services-tax
Office of the United States Trade Representative Announces Initiation of Section 301 Investigation into France’s Digital Services Tax https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2019/july/ustr-announces-initiation-section-301
UK presses ahead with Digital Services Tax despite threat of US pushback: https://tech.newstatesman.com/policy/uk-digital-services-tax
France passes tax on tech giants despite US threat: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48947922