Australian Government proposes digital levy on giants like Google, Facebook and Uber

Australian Government proposes digital levy on multi-national tech and digital companies

An Australian Government plan to introduce a digital levy on global digital companies including Google, Facebook and Uber is gaining support from senators.

The digital economy tax proposal would reportedly operate like a sales tax, with digital companies to pay a “GST-style levy” on advertising. The levy could see brands and advertisers charged more to cover the increased tax costs.

Australian senators have expressed support for the proposed digital levy and agreed to support the federal government’s AU$176bn tax plan if the levy is confirmed.

The government is currently lobbying votes for an AU$140bn income tax cut plan and an AU$35.6bn plan to lower corporate tax rates for big businesses.

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison has said that a digital tax on the world’s biggest tech and digital companies is “inevitable”. He has previously accused tech and digital companies of "ripping out a big part of our tax base".

In his budget speech earlier this month, Morrison said, "The next big challenge is to ensure big multinational digital and tech companies pay their fair share of tax.”

"Over the past year, I have been working with counterparts at the G20 to bring the digital economy into the global tax net. In a few weeks' time, I will release a discussion paper that will explore options for taxing digital business in Australia."

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