Saturday, 17 November, 2018

What you need to know about Britain’s "Digital Services Tax"

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond prepares his speech in his office in Downing Street London ahead of his 2018 Budget announcement on Monday. PRESS ASSOCIATION After weeks of turmoil over Brexit Tory MPs will be looking to the Chancellor to raise party morale with his annual financial statement
Laurie Berry | 31 October, 2018, 22:33

Will Tech Start-ups Have To Pay This Tax?

Hammond said the UK Government would continue to take part in conversations to create a global solution and would replace the digital services tax with a world-wide tax if and when one is agreed upon. But progress is painfully slow. "We can not simply talk forever", he said.

Hammond noted that the digital services tax will be crafted to not fall on consumers, the way an online sales tax would.

The move to amend the tax rules comes amid a wider worldwide effort by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to overhaul the rules.

Both Google and Facebook have changed the way they account for their activity in Britain.

The British proposal is therefore important: though the levy generates little additional tax revenue, it should spur other governments and the industry to reach a global agreement sooner.

The announcement in the week of Halloween prompted The Sun tabloid to report the news with photo-montage depicting Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg as Dracula.

The chancellor said plans to impose taxation on the internet giants are already in the works, but have not moved on as far as he would like.

Experts have warned about the potential impact of the tax.

Here’s Why Kim Kardashian Won’t Stop Defending Kanye West
But given the amount of gun violence in this country, in particular school shootings, Kim isn't sure that's a good idea.

Asked if the giveaway Budget was a marker for a possible general election, Mr Hammond told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I hope not".

Some smaller economies have announced similar initiatives.

It has been clear for some time that the system hasn't kept pace with the way numerous biggest companies in the world make their money. "If all United Kingdom businesses took advantage of the tax rules that apply to off-shore businesses, the country would collapse". He continued to state that "this is not an online sales tax on goods ordered over the internet".

Tech companies however have defended their tax structures, and insist they abide by tax laws as they're now written. "When the news sinks in across the pond, it could raise the possibility of retaliatory measures from the U.S. government".

Talks have been ongoing on a European level since March.

To help prevent the abuse of research and development (R&D) SME tax relief by artificial corporate structures, the amount that a loss-making company can receive in R&D tax credits will be capped at three times its total Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and National Insurance contributions liability.

But the need for unanimity on an European Union level makes progress hard. Hammond said that the government expects to raise more than £400 million ($512 million) annually based on current revenues.

The UK government just announced plans to introduce a tax on the import and manufacturing of non-recyclable plastic packaging.

He said: "The tech giants do need to pay more in tax but the measure announced today is pittance for these massive worldwide companies".

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