Digital services tax: introduction

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 12:15 pm, 11th June 2020

That is, of course, a proper question to ask, but we have taken the view that this is a tax that we would like to take off the books in due course, when there is an OECD agreement. That agreement may take a variety of different forms; it may raise more tax or less. Different countries have different overall tax systems and seek to address different forms of corporate behaviour in deriving revenue. In the UK, there are plenty of businesses deriving revenue from user-generated content. Some of them will be over the thresholds that we are talking about, and those are the ones that are within the scope of the tax.

It is absolutely open to other parties to disagree about how they would put it, but the Government have taken the view that this is the appropriate level for a new tax—it is on revenue and, as I have said, is therefore potentially distortive. We have had feedback and consultations that reflect concerns on both sides of the issue.