UK vows new tax on tech firms will proceed despite U.S. pressure

UK tech tax: Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron shake hands
France this week agreed to suspend a similar tax measure. In this photo, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron shake hands during their meeting at Winfield House, London on Dec. 3, 2019. Photographer: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images
United States Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has threatened new tariffs on UK carmakers after UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said the country would not back down over a UK tech tax which will hit U.S. firms like Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.

BBC News:

Trade tensions with the US have spiralled after the chancellor, Sajid Javid, took a defiant stance at Davos… A trade deal with the EU would take priority over one with the US after the UK leaves the EU this month, he added.

Officials said Boris Johnson and Donald Trump would discuss the trade agreement and the tech tax this week during the World Economic Forum in Davos. The UK government sees a new trade deal with the US as a high priority after Britain leaves the European Union at the end of this month.

France this week agreed to suspend a similar measure after the US had threatened to impose new levies on French exports of wine, cheese and handbags. France will not levy their tech tax until the end of the year to allow time for a multilateral coordinated agreement on tax reform to be agreed…

The UK is under pressure to follow France’s example and delay its plan to levy tax worth 2% of the revenues of search engines, social media companies and online marketplaces, a change which would bolster public finances by £500m a year. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is overseeing efforts to find a joint solution, has urged national governments to wait for a multilateral agreement.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, as we wrote back in April 2019:

As per the EU itself, the smart approach for Apple et al. is to lobby for harmonized EU taxation over a state-by-state patchwork of taxes, as that will at least offer simplicity, stability, and predictability.


  1. Any tariffs will simply be passed on to the UK customer who should start complaining now. Because of that this is simply an indirect tax on UK citizens. Isn’t VAT enough?

      1. Yep. There are morons pressing for a tax on CO2, which of course everyone exhales. There is no shortage of stupidity and greed. Governments tend toward corruption and need endless money to buy votes.

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