March 27, 2019

United Kingdom government moves to tax tech giants

01 November 2018, 07:29 | Randall Craig

Image A 50p coin marking a century since women were given the right to vote was launched in January

A new circulation 50p coin design from the Royal Mint highlighting a century since the passing of the Representation of the People Act when women over 30 were first given the right to vote along with servicemen over 19 and men over 21

Hammond said the Government would continue working with the OECD and G20 to seek a global agreement, and would consider adopting any globally agreed solution in place of the UK Digital Services Tax.

The tax will consist of a levy against search engines, social media platforms and internet marketplaces that are profitable and generate "at least £500m a year in global revenue".

Hammond said established technology companies, rather than start-ups, would have to to pay the tax, the BBC reported.

A new digital services tax of 2% on technology companies that make more than $638 million globally will come into force in the United Kingdom in April 2020. The tax targets companies with worldwide annual revenues of €750m or more and that have European Union taxable revenues of at least €50m.

"But we put forward in the general election a fairer taxation system so that does mean that we will be asking the top 5% to pay a bit more in income tax and we will be rolling back numerous corporation tax cuts that have taken place, and we will be cracking down on tax evasion and tax avoidance".

Mr Leonard said: "We want to see a Scottish budget where the richest pay their fair share to properly fund public services and tackle inequality".

Setting out his income tax cuts, Mr Hammond said the personal allowance will rise to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold will rise to £50,000, both from April 2019.

Scotland's Finance Secretary has pledged to take a "more progressive approach" to income tax than Philip Hammond when he delivers Holyrood's budget. Companies have been accused of falsely reporting or reducing profits in order to pay less tax.

Helen Coward, senior associate in corporate tax at law firm Charles Russell Speechlys, commented: "We now have some shape to the digital services tax - the so-called Amazon tax - being mooted by the government".

CIOT warned that UK's proposed digital tax would encourage other companies to do same by taxing UK-based tech companies that are already paying taxes inside the country.

It is possible for firms that are affected to pass on the tax hike to consumers, analysts have said in this ongoing debacle to tax digital companies.

Trade organisation UKHospitality welcomed yesterday's announcement and echoed industry sentiment that the tax should be used to support pubs and as a "springboard" for further rates reform. This year it revised up its forecasts for tax income, which was an unexpected windfall for the government.

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