In this seminar, we intend to discuss short - and longer-term impacts that would arise from a new EU-imposed tax on digital services.
Some policymakers argue that the EU needs a tax on digital services to respond to recent developments and challenges of the digital economy. The European Commission suggests that new EU-imposed regulatory policies would be required to promote digitalisation in the Member States to increase productivity and benefit consumers. At the same time, with its recharged digital levy initiative, the Commission proposes to tax digital companies, which would otherwise fail to contribute their fair share to society.
Academics, tax professionals and industry experts caution that new taxes on digital services would undermine the process of digitalisation in the EU, result in double taxation and over taxation of companies, particularly SMEs that extensively use online services to market their products and services in the EU and globally. It is also argued that debates about new taxes on digital services distract political capital away from much more pressing needs for tax reform in the EU, e.g. differences in national VAT law and direct taxation of labour and capital.
Join us for a discussion of the economic and political impacts of the EU’s new digital levy initiative:
• To what extent does the new initiative deviate from the original 2018 EU proposal to levy special taxes on digital services?
• What about the real “tax incidence” of the digital levy, i.e. who would pay the bill, large companies or SMEs?
• What will be the implications for global trade and investment policy?
• What will be the impacts EU Member States’ aspirations to “digitally upgrade” their national economies?
• What are the obstacles to simpler rules to achieve transparency and fairness in taxation?
Marta Becerra, Director of Public Affairs and Institutional Relations at adigital, Madrid
Daniel Bunn, Vice President of Global Projects at the US Tax Foundation, Washington D.C.