UK Budget 2017: Tech giants targeted over royalties

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Source: 23 November 2017

The UK government is taking steps to increase the tax it collects from firms doing business online. Rules to prevent online sellers avoiding VAT have also been tightened.

From April 2019, technology groups such as Google and Apple will pay a new withholding tax on the royalty payments they make to their subsidiaries in low-tax jurisdictions.

HMRC will also hold online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon responsible if sellers using their platforms fail to pay Value Added Tax on their sales.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “Multinational digital businesses pay billions of pounds in royalties to jurisdictions where they are not taxed and some of those relate to UK sales.

“This does not solve the problem, but it does send a signal of our determination and we will continue work in the international arena to find a sustainable and fair long-term solution.”

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Amazon and Apple caught in latest EU tax crackdown

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Source: 4 October 2017

The European Union has launched a fresh crackdown over taxes paid by tech giants Amazon and Apple.

Amazon has been ordered to repay €250m (£221m; $293m) in back taxes after the European Commission said it had been given an unfair tax deal in Luxembourg.

The Commission also plans to take Ireland to court over its failure to collect €13bn of back taxes from Apple.

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GOOGLE, Apple and Microsoft are among seven multinationals facing substantial tax bills from the ATO

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Source:, 7 April 2107

GOOGLE, Apple and Microsoft are among seven multinationals being hit with substantial tax bills by the Australian Taxation Office. Earlier this month the ATO said it has served the companies with a combined $2.9 billion of liabilities.

Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said the move was part of a tough new approach by the Turnbull Government, which promised to strengthen the ATO’s powers in response to public outrage over the big profits being generated by such companies from their activities in Australia but paid little or no tax there.

The ATO is setting up audits of 59 multinationals and many other companies to ensure compliance with Australia’s taxation laws. 1000 accountants, lawyers and economists have been examining the books of the suspected tax cheats, with 71 company audits already under way including at least seven multinationals.

The ATO expects some of the companies to fight their tax bills in the Federal Court and others to settle out of court.

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Apple to start making iPhones in India

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Source: 3rd February 2017

Apple is to start making iPhones in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, the state’s government has said.

Apple has held a series of meetings with government representatives at both state and national level and is understood to be pressing for concessions before going ahead with such a move.

Apple is currently unable to set up its own branded stores in India, which has a raft of rules to curb the activities of foreign companies.

For it to be able to sell direct to customers in India, Apple would have to source 30% of the components of its products locally.

Indian media has been speculating about Apple for a while. The iPhone is much coveted as a status symbol in the country, but it’s very expensive for most people.

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Supreme Court rejects Federal Circuit’s basis for affirming $399m damages in Apple v Samsung

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Source: 19.12.2016 | Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto via International Law Office

On December 6 2016 the Supreme Court rejected the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of a damages statute in Apple v Samsung over Apple’s smartphone design patents, and remanded the matter to the Federal Circuit. In so doing, the court raised the possibility that the $399 million in damages previously awarded to Apple could be reduced significantly.

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