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USTR Announces Digital Taxes to 6 Nations

The United States Trade Representation (USTR) immediately imposed and suspended tariffs on imports of digital services from six countries.

On Wednesday, the USTR announced the imposition of 25% tariffs on imports of digital services originating in Austria, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

In sum, these imports have an approximate value of more than 2,000 million dollars annually.

After imposing the tariffs, the USTR suspended them for negotiations between the parties to continue.

Thus, the United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, announced the conclusion of the one-year investigations of Section 301 of the Digital Services Tax (DST).

The final determination in those investigations is to impose additional tariffs on certain goods from these countries, while the tariffs are suspended for up to 180 days to allow additional time to complete the ongoing multilateral negotiations on international taxation at the OECD and in the G20 process.

USTR

“The United States is focused on finding a multilateral solution to a variety of key issues related to international taxation, including our concerns with taxes on digital services,” said Tai.

From Tai’s angle, the United States remains committed to reaching consensus on international tax issues through the OECD and G20 processes.

In addition, Wednesday’s actions provide time for those negotiations to continue moving forward while maintaining the option to impose duties under Section 301 if warranted in the future.

The Federal Register notices announcing and suspending commercial actions in the six investigations can be found at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/section-301-digital-services-taxes.

Background

On June 2, 2020, the USTR launched investigations into DSTs adopted or under consideration in 10 jurisdictions: Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

In January 2021, following investigations, the USTR determined that the DSTs adopted by Austria, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom discriminated against US digital companies, were incompatible with international tax principles and burdened Americans companies.

Then, in March 2021, the USTR announced proposed business actions in these six investigations and conducted a public comment and notification process, during which it collected hundreds of public comments and held seven public hearings.

The Trade Representation also terminated the remaining four investigations (from Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, and Indonesia) because those jurisdictions had not implemented the DSTs under consideration.

 

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