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Sanctions – US threatens penalties for digital taxes

U.S. tax threatens Austria and five other states with penalties due to digital tax. This comes from an announcement made by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Friday afternoon (local time). The digital taxes of Austria, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom will discriminate and burden American companies. They also do not comply with international tax policies.

Toy stressed that the United States continues to work for an “international consensus” on tax issues within the OECD. Meanwhile, Washington will keep its options open, including “charging fees”. It said US investigations against Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union and Indonesia would be halted because they had not decided on a digital tax.

Investigations began last June under US President Donald Trump. A few days before taking office, Taiwanese pioneer Robert Lightiser released Trump’s statements lowering the thumbs on tax plans in Austria and five other states. Based on these reports, the government of the new US President Joe Biden is now threatening with particularly punitive charges.

In Austria, online advertising revenue has been taxed since the previous year, specifically targeting US Internet companies such as Google, Apple or Facebook. It is no secret that the federal government wants to ask American companies to pay more, which is considered discriminatory in the United States.

Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) is an avid fan of Silicon Valley and tries to maintain good relations with company leaders there. He continues to use opportunities to meet and talk with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

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Just hours before the U.S. tax verdict was announced, Kurz released a photo of himself showing Cook in a video conference with Cook on a MacBook on Friday morning. “Thanks Tim Cook for taking the time to continue our discussions on digitalization and technological trends,” the Chancellor wrote. “In our plan for a better recovery from the current Covit-19 crisis, strengthening digital infrastructure and capabilities will be essential for Austria and the EU.” (Aba)