Tuesday October 22, 2019
Home Business U.S. Notifies...

U.S. Notifies World Trade Organization Against “Discriminatory” New Taxes on Digital Giants

The OECD is spearheading talks aimed at forging a new global agreement on taxing technology and digital giants who often declare their income in low-tax nations, depriving other countries of billions in revenue.

0
//
WTO
World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, July 26, 2018. VOA

The U.S. is weighing a complaint at the World Trade Organization against “discriminatory” new taxes on digital giants such as a Facebook and Google which are being planned by France and other EU nations, a top US trade official said Tuesday.

“We think the whole theoretical basis of digital service taxes is ill-conceived and the effect is highly discriminatory against US-based multinationals,” Chip Harter, a Treasury official and US delegate for global tax talks, said in Paris.

social media
But that overhaul is expected until next year at the earliest, prompting France, Britain, Spain, Austria and Italy to move ahead with their own versions of a so-called “digital services tax” as soon as this year.
Pixabay

Speaking ahead of two days of talks at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Harter added that “various parts of our government are studying whether that discriminatory impact would give us rights under trade agreements and WTO treaties.”

The OECD is spearheading talks aimed at forging a new global agreement on taxing technology and digital giants who often declare their income in low-tax nations, depriving other countries of billions in revenue.

But that overhaul is expected until next year at the earliest, prompting France, Britain, Spain, Austria and Italy to move ahead with their own versions of a so-called “digital services tax” as soon as this year.

social media
The OECD is spearheading talks aimed at forging a new global agreement on taxing technology and digital giants who often declare their income in low-tax nations, depriving other countries of billions in revenue. Pixabay

Last week France unveiled draft legislation that would set a 3.0-percent levy on digital advertising, the sale of personal data and other revenue for tech groups with more than 750 million euros ($844 million) in worldwide revenue.

It would be applied retroactively from January 1, 2019, while the measures in the UK and other European countries might not come into effect until next year.

Also Read: Auto History Museum Displays One Of General Motors’ First Self-Driving Test Vehicles
“We do understand there’s political pressure around the world to tax various international businesses more heavily, and we actually agreed that that is appropriate,” Harter told journalists.

“But we think it should be done on a broader basis than just selecting a particular industry,” he said. (VOA)

Next Story

SC Transfers All Pleas Concerning Social Media Guidelines to Itself

Facebook had said that transfer of cases would serve the interests of justice by avoiding the possibility of conflicting decisions

0
SC, Social Media, Guidelines
The apex court was hearing Facebook's plea seeking transfer of various petitions from different high courts to the Supreme Court. Pixabay

Accepting Facebook’s plea, the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed transfer of various petitions, related to guidelines for regulation of the social media in India, from different high courts to the top court.

A bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said the matter will be heard in January after the Centre formulates new guidelines on intermediaries.

The apex court was hearing Facebook’s plea seeking transfer of various petitions from different high courts to the Supreme Court.

Facebook had said that transfer of cases would serve the interests of justice by avoiding the possibility of conflicting decisions from the high courts. The social media giant told the apex court that two petitions had been filed in the Madras High Court and one each in the Bombay and Madhya Pradesh High Courts.

SC, Social Media, Guidelines
A bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said the matter will be heard in January after the Centre formulates new guidelines on intermediaries. Pixabay

All the pleas in the High Courts have sought a direction that Aadhaar or any other government-authorised identity proof should be made mandatory to authenticate social media accounts.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the court that the state of Tamil Nadu had no objection to the matter being transferred to the Supreme Court.

Representing the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court that terrorists cannot claim the privileges of privacy.

He said no intermediary can claim to be so safe and secure that it cannot provide details of terrorists and anti-national people and protect them. He also stressed for a balance between national interest, sovereignty of the country and privacy and added that the government is not invading in privacy of citizens.

Also Read- Interviewees Judged Based on their Social Status Seconds after they Start to Speak

The Attorney General told the court that government does not want to crack down on encrypted social media traffic to control crime, but expects help from online platforms to facilitate access.

Representing the petitioner, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi told the court that the intermediaries are caught between pro-privacy parties and the government.

The Centre informed the Supreme Court that the entire process of finalising laws on regulating the social media will be completed by January 2020, and sought three months more for notifying the final revised rules in accordance with the law. (IANS)