Wednesday, 20 February, 2019


United Kingdom to impose digital services tax on tech giants from 2020

LONDON ENGLAND- NOVEMBER 21  Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond prepares his speech in his office in Downing Street ahead of his 2017 budget Image The chancellor delivers the budget on Monday
Patty Aguilar | 01 November, 2018, 19:30

After the Chancellor announced the new levy on large digital platforms, Labour MP Margaret Hodge tweeted: "Think about the profits Google, Amazon, Facebook etc make in UK".

Specifically, the tax will apply to revenues generated from search engines, social media platforms and digital marketplaces. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond discussed the new tax in a speech that he gave in the House of Commons on Monday night saying, "It will be carefully created to ensure it is established tech giants-rather than our tech startups-that shoulder the burden of this new tax".

THE UK GOVERNMENT has announced plans for a Digital Services Tax aimed at online companies trading in the UK with a turnover of more than £500m per year.

Hammond said that the tax will be set at 2 percent on the revenues of business carried out with UK-based users.

Speaking in the Commons on Monday, Philip Hammond said: "A new global agreement is the best long term solution".

The higher rate threshold, the income at which someone becomes liable to pay the 40% tax rate, will rise to £50,000 from £46,350 at the same time.

When asked about what funding other sectors would receive, the Health Secretary said Chancellor Philip Hammond has already spoke about more money for transport.

Hammond suggested the tax will begin in April 2020, pending consultation.

Hammond explained that the rationale behind the proposal was that the UK Government believed it is unfair for businesses to amass revenue in the country without paying any taxes. Such a tax would fall on consumers of those goods-and that is not our intention.

What's next? The UK's budget watchdog expects that companies will try to find loopholes to pay as little as possible of the tax, tiny as it is.

At the moment in the rest of the United Kingdom, the 40p higher income tax rate applies to earnings above the threshold of £46,351 - with this to increase to £50,000 at the start of the next financial year in April 2019.

There has been particular concern in Britain about online shopping giants such as Amazon undercutting traditional retailers.

Criticised by Mr Corbyn for choosing a "tax cut for higher earners" rather than ending a benefit freeze, she replied: 'On Monday, he said cutting taxes for 32 million people was frittering money away on ideological tax cuts. It's a problem the European Commission has been looking to address with proposed tax reforms to include an interim tax of three percent on selected and currently-untaxed digital activities.

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