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PM Boris Johnson supports new digital tax

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a speech outside 10 Downing Street in London.

Johnson insists US digital giants must be taxed ‘fairly and properly’

Biarritz, France | AFP |  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday said that US digital giants needed to be taxed “fairly and properly” in a growing dispute with the United States over taxing the likes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

France has plunged into a heated dispute with the US after its parliament agreed a new sales tax that forces the digital giants to pay up even if their headquarters are not in the country.

The British government is now planning a similar move, at a time when it also hopes to build on its relationship with Washington as it exits the European Union.

“Frankly, we must do something to tax fairly and properly the online businesses that have such colossal sales in our country,” said Johnson ahead of talks with US President Donald Trump on Saturday.

“I am open to discussion about how we do that and I am willing to listen to our American friends about the modalities. But we must do something to tax them fairly,” he added.

The French law aims to plug a taxation gap that has seen some internet heavyweights paying next to nothing in European countries where they make huge profits, because their legal base is in smaller EU states.

France has said it would withdraw the tax if an international agreement is reached, and Paris hopes to include all OECD countries by the end of 2020.

The British government said in July it plans to introduce a 2.0 percent sales tax on digital giants from next April.

 

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