A big new tax for Big Tech

The Week (US) - - 18 News -

Face­book and Google face a po­ten­tially sig­nif­i­cant new tax, said Fe­lix Sal­mon in Ax­ios .com. At the mo­ment, multi­na­tion­als that deal in dig­i­tal prod­ucts can “move prof­its around the world,” shift­ing them from high-tax coun­tries to low-tax havens such as Ire­land. Now some coun­tries want to make it harder for the big play­ers to get around lo­cal taxes. The U.K. is propos­ing a 2 per­cent tax on the Bri­tish rev­enues—rather than prof­its—of any tech com­pany “with more than $650 mil­lion in global rev­enues,” a clear swipe at U.S. tech gi­ants. Spain, South Korea, and In­dia are con­sid­er­ing sim­i­lar mea­sures. In­ter­net com­pa­nies say it’s dou­ble tax­a­tion. But oil com­pa­nies al­ready pay sim­i­lar taxes. “If Exxon Mo­bil can pay a roy­alty based on rev­enues, then why not Face­book?” de­tected the pedes­trian six sec­onds be­fore im­pact but didn’t ac­ti­vate emer­gency brak­ing un­til 1.3 sec­onds be­fore the col­li­sion, when it was too late to stop. The hu­man backup driver was dis­tracted, watch­ing a show on her phone. Uber has now asked the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion for the right to re­sume test­ing on pub­lic roads. It says two peo­ple will sit in the front seats of its self-driv­ing ve­hi­cles, its soft­ware has been tweaked to spot ob­jects and peo­ple sooner, and a third-party firm will mon­i­tor its backup driv­ers in real time.

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