UK Closes Tax Loophole On Digital Downloads, Prices Could Soar 20 Percent
March 24, 2014 9:24 AM
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Apple, amazon, and other digital item retailers will have to charge 20% VAT starting in 2015
A long-standing tax loophole has been available in the UK that allowed buyers of digital download products to pay fewer taxes on their purchases of digital books, music, and apps.
That loophole has now been closed and it will mean that Apple and Google now have to charge the standard 20% VAT. This likely means an end to music being offered at 99p.
Apple and other digital good sellers were allowed to
funnel digital purchases though countries like Luxembourg
where the tax rate was as low as 3%.
20% VAT on digital downloads could add £300 million in tax revenue
The new law will go into effect on January 1 2015, so fans of digital products in the UK have a bit less than a year before rates go up significantly. The new taxes are expected to raise an additional £300 million in tax revenue.
Both Apple and
Google have come under fire in recent years
for their tax avoidance practices in the UK. Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt defended his company in April 2013, stating, “I think the most important thing to say about our taxes is that we fully comply with the law and we'll obviously, should the law change, we'll comply with that as well."
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3/24/2014 3:31:40 PM
The end user pays for this, not the company, so no oubt they don't have that much of an issue agreeing to this. I'm sure that they also have no issue agreeing to this so long as they're based in Ireland etc and get to pay a fraction of the corporation tax they would have to should those loopholes be closed.
3/25/2014 12:43:03 AM
They would have an issue with it as they would have to either decrease their margin (loose profit, ouch) or raise prices to consumers which would make them loose customers as they would be less competitive than before compared to domestic companies that have already been paying.
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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