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Austria, France, and Italy to Introduce Digital Services Taxes

Volume 6 No 4   |   Read Article

By Benjamin Twardosz (guest author)

A limerick that is popular among members of the U.S. Congressional tax writing committees sheds wisdom on the development of tax policy: “Don’t tax you. Don’t tax me. Tax the person behind the tree.” Several countries in Europe have taken the rhyme to heart in developing unilateral digital services taxes designed to impose tax on extra-territorial activity of out-of-country companies. The issue, as Austria, France, and Italy see it, is that these companies make huge profits in Europe but pay no tax there, while payments for digital services are often tax deductible in the countries where the services are used. According to proponents such as Austria, it is only fair to tax those profits on a destination basis. Benjamin Twardosz of CHSH Attorneys-at-Law, Vienna, explains the various proposals under consideration.  See more →