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04 May 2020

Politico: Deal on global digital tax plan may be delayed until 2021

Parts of a global deal on how to tax the digital world may be delayed until next year, according to a senior official overseeing the talks.

Pascal Saint-Amans, head of the tax policy center at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said the crisis had made it more important to reach a global agreement, but that there was a risk the complex negotiations could drag into 2021.

“We aim to stay within the timeline, which is the year-end,” said Saint-Amans, who is overseeing the global digital tax talks at the OECD. “But it’s a staged process. Some aspects may shift into 2021.”

Countries such as France and the United States have been at loggerheads over how to tax the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook. The OECD official warned that, without a digital tax agreement, trade wars may reemerge just as the global economy was tottering because of the coronavirus crisis.

“There’s an increased risk of the proliferation of digital services taxes,” Saint-Amans said in an online webinar Monday. “There is a risk of trade disputes, especially during this tumultuous time in the global economy.”

The OECD had planned to present its digital tax proposals to governments at a meeting in Berlin in July. Because of the public health crisis, those discussions have been moved to early October, according to Saint-Amans, who declined to say what types of digital tax plans would be presented at the end of the year.

more at  POLITICO (subscription required)


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