USCIB Objects to Implementation of Digital Service Taxes by France

Washington, D.C., July 17, 2019 – Responding to the recent announcement by France to implement a digital service taxes (DST), the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, urges countries to avoid unilateral measures and instead pursue a consensus-based, comprehensive and income tax-based solution. USCIB supports the OECD Inclusive Framework process for reaching agreement on these global issues.

The French law will impose a tax of three percent on certain revenue earned by technology companies including advertising, commissions from digital marketplaces and sales of data.

“Taxes on revenues are distortive,” said USCIB Vice President for Tax Policy Carol Doran Klein. “The total tax may exceed company profit and misallocate profits to the market jurisdiction. Any solution should be treaty compliant and designed to avoid controversy. It should tax income based on where value is created by companies, including appropriate recognition of where intangibles are created. Furthermore, any solution should not discourage innovation.”

Klein also warned that the French tax will not be easy to implement and will put a significant burden on companies to set up systems to track global revenues. “Implementing such new systems would be both time consuming and expensive – not simple or easily implemented – and would divert company resources from useful profit-making activities.”

“It is unfortunate that France has decided to repeat the mistakes identified in the debate over the unsuccessful EU DST,” said Bill Sample, chair of USCIB’s Tax Committee. “I urge France to focus their energies on reaching a consensus solution within the OECD’s Inclusive Framework for a sustainable international tax system that recognizes innovation and production and minimizes the adverse impact of the costs of double taxation on business investment and growth.”

USCIB reiterated its concerns in a letter to the government of New Zealand, which is also looking at options for taxing the digital economy.

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and Business at OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043, jhuneke@uscib.org

USCIB in the News: Joint Letter Seeks Fair Play in India

USCIB has recently been cited in two articles, the Economic Times India and the International Business Times India,  both of which featured a multi-industry letter that was sent to Congress regarding the United States’ role in ensuring fair play in India for American companies. USCIB joined a group of over twenty eminent American business organizations and industry groups, many of which are also USCIB members. The letter stated that “businesses in the U.S. continue to face an evolving array of tariff and non-tariff barriers, both longstanding and new, which impede businesses and manufactures in the United States from competing fairly in India and creating jobs here at home.”

The letter urges the U.S. government, including Congress, to use all available channels to ensure fair play and to support Indian efforts that align with U.S. goals. The letter emphasized the need to actively use existing as well as new platforms and tools to raise and resolve longstanding issues, including the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, and the WTO dispute settlement.

The letter is available here.

USCIB Adds Its Voice to Concerns with BEPS

taxes-portUSCIB joined the Software Finance & Tax Executives Council and the National Foreign Trade Council in signing a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew citing concerns with the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. The letter notes that the threat of double taxation will have a negative impact on global trade and investment.

The BEPS project is an effort by the OECD to rewrite global rules that tax profits where economic activity is generated, without imposing undue compliance costs on taxpayers.

“Throughout the BEPS process, U.S. business has been pressing for clarity,” the letter states. “The lack of clarity and threat of double taxation will create uncertainty which will have a negative impact on global trade and investment.”

Read the letter.

L-R: Grace Perez-Navarro (OECD), Carol Doran Klein (USCIB), David Camp (PwC), Pascal Saint-Amans (OECD)
L-R: Grace Perez-Navarro (OECD), Carol Doran Klein (USCIB), David Camp (PwC), Pascal Saint-Amans (OECD)

Last month, USCIB hosted its tenth annual OECD International Tax Conference in Washington, D.C., which took stock of BEPS and its impact on international trade and investment.