E-commerce


EU General Court Overturns Apple Ruling

Posted on July 23rd, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

Apple and the Irish Government have been successful in overturning a European Commission decision that two tax rulings granted to the company by the Irish Government were unlawful.

Following an in-depth state aid investigation launched in June 2014, the European Commission concluded that the tax rulings (issued in 1991 and in 2007) “substantially and artificially lowered the tax paid by Apple in Ireland since 1991.” Apple was required to pay back taxes into an escrow account set up by the Irish Government, along with interest, pending the outcome of the Government and Apple’s appeal.

The European Commission had argued that Ireland’s endorsement of Apple’s Irish tax arrangements had enabled Apple to pay less tax than competing companies would be able to pay – that it had granted it a “selective tax advantage”, and that the tax rulings issued by Ireland endorsed an … Read More »


European Countries Propose Digital Tax Compromise

Posted on July 10th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

The finance ministers of France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom have reportedly sent a letter to the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, proposing that new international tax rules for digital companies could be gradually phased in.

The ministers suggest in the letter, seen by Bloomberg News, that tax rules for providers of digital services could initially be restricted to those companies providing “automated” digital services and later could be applied more widely.

By offering such a compromise, the European countries are hoping to persuade the US to re-join negotiations towards the creation of an internationally-agreed framework of tax rules for digital companies. They reportedly suggested that an agreement that includes the US could be reached by the end of 2020 if a phased approach to the introduction of these rules was on the table.

For more information on this, and other topical … Read More »


European Commission Announces Economic Recovery Plan

Posted on June 5th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

Digital tax matters were on the table for the European Commission, which has published an economic recovery plan (as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic), which includes a possible digital tax, a crackdown on tax fraud, in addition to revisiting its proposals for a common consolidated corporate tax base.

The Commission intends to borrow EUR750bn on the financial markets to fund the package. To repay these funds, the Commission will propose a number of new “own resources.”

According to the EC plan, options for reform could include a new digital tax on companies with global annual turnover over EUR750bn, which could raise an estimated EUR1.3bn per year, and a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which could take the form of a tax on imports to the European Union that do not face environmental levies equal to the EU’s in their country … Read More »


France Delays Digital Taxes

Posted on January 30th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

France will suspend digital tax payments for 2020 to prevent the imposition of tariffs on certain French imports into the United States.

The French DST is a three percent tax on the revenue of digital companies providing advertising services, selling user data for advertising purposes, or performing intermediation services. Companies with global revenues of EUR750m (USD838m) or more and French sales of at least EUR25m are required to pay the tax.

The US argues that the tax unfairly discriminates against American companies and is currently considering proposals to impose retaliatory tariffs of up to 100 percent on around USD2.4bn worth of French products.

However, according to various media reports, following discussions between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin against the backdrop of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, France has agreed not to collect digital tax payments … Read More »


France And US Near Digital Tax Compromise

Posted on January 16th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has revealed that France and the United States would be attempting this month to reach a compromise over their ongoing dispute regarding France’s new digital services tax (DST).

The French DST is a three percent tax on the revenue of digital companies providing advertising services, selling user data for advertising purposes, or performing intermediation services. Companies with global revenues of EUR750m (USD838m) or more and French sales of at least EUR25m are required to pay the tax.

The US argues that the tax unfairly discriminates against US-based companies and is currently threatening to retaliate against the measure, imposing additional duties of 100 percent on certain French imports with a trade value of USD2.4bn.

Addressing a press conference alongside the European Commissioner for Trade, Phil Hogan, Le Maire said that France and the US have agreed to “redouble … Read More »


Czech Digital Taxation Legislation Drafted

Posted on September 12th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

In early September, the Government of the Czech Republic received from the Ministry of Finance draft legislation for the introduction of a temporary digital services tax, which was first announced in April 2019.

According to the Finance Ministry, the scope of the tax is based largely on the European Commission’s proposals for an temporary EU digital tax, which will apply to revenues from online advertising, the sale of user data, and intermediation services, by companies with a global turnover of EUR750m (USD825m) or more and realizing sales in the Czech Republic of at last CZK50m (USD2.1m) per year. The DST will only apply to revenue from intermediation services if the platform has in excess of 200,000 users, will be imposed on a calendar year period, and will be payable three months after the end of the tax year, the ministry said.

The … Read More »


UK Summarizes Digital Services Tax

Posted on July 26th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

The UK Government has released a summary of the feedback that it had received on its consultation on the new Digital Services Tax and set out amendments to its proposals to ensure the regime functions effectively and as intended.

Plans to introduce the levy were confirmed in the 2019 Budget, and are broadly in line with moves in other countries in this area. The Government has proposed that the tax will apply to revenue generated by search engines, social media platforms, and online marketplaces, to revenues from those activities that are linked to the participation of UK users. It will apply only to groups that generate global revenues from in-scope business activities in excess of GBP500m per year. Businesses will not have to pay tax on their first GBP25 million of UK taxable revenues.

According to the Government, with regard to the … Read More »


US Unhappy With Digital Tax Plans

Posted on April 15th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

The United States is getting increasingly twitchy about European digital taxes, and especially the French measures. And retribution could be swift.

Members of the US Congress from both sides of the aisle have been queuing up to publicly condemn foreign digital taxes, which they say are a deliberate fiscal raid on a group of largely US-based companies. But their intervention on this subject is not altogether surprising, given that such statements are aimed in the direction of lawmakers’ constituents as much as the White House and foreign governments.

More worryingly for France and the EU though, is that the Administration itself is talking tough too. Recently, a senior Treasury official revealed to reporters that the department is actively exploring the deployment of countermeasures to the French and other digital measures under World Trade Organisation rules, and even the public face of the … Read More »


European Digital Tax Plans Gather Speed

Posted on March 16th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

France’s digital tax is going full steam ahead after Le Maire officially unveiled legislation for a three percent revenue tax, along similar lines to that proposed by the European Commission last year. But you’ll need a time machine to actually get on board, as the timetable says it starts on January 1, 2019. Meanwhile, Spain’s digital tax appears to be grinding to a halt due to problems with the legislative machinery. Parliament’s rejection of the 2019 Budget and the calling of fresh elections, to be held in May 2019, may even derail it.

I think Italy’s digital tax remains on track, but until the Government fleshes out the proposals, we only have a vague idea where it’s going and when it will get there. The UK at least signaled well ahead of time that its digital tax will commence in 2020, … Read More »


EU Digital Tax Plans Coming Unstuck

Posted on December 17th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

Last week, Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, issued a statement welcoming the “abandonment” of the European Union’s proposed digital services tax. However, I think that was a piece of wishful thinking on the Texas Republican’s part. The EU rarely abandons anything, least of all high priority tax initiatives. I refer you to the common consolidated corporate tax base (currently gridlocked) and the financial transaction tax (back from the dead).

However, that France, Germany, and Austria (which currently holds the EU presidency) were last week prepared to accept a watered-down digital tax proposal in return for an agreement was an indication of just how strongly certain member states (notably Ireland, Sweden, and Denmark) oppose the idea, and therefore just how unlikely it is to be implemented in its original form.

The compromise text argued that the … Read More »





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