Italy to levy web tax on digital giants from 2020

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ROME: Italy approved a new tax on digital companies, including US tech giants, as part of its 2020 draft budget on Wednesday, a move that could draw threats of retaliation from Washington. The levy, due to be introduced from next year, will oblige companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, to pay a 3% levy on internet transactions, according to a text of the draft budget.
Washington has repeatedly said the levy unfairly targeted US firms. A senior US official said President Trump was ready to threaten retaliation when he meets Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Washington on Wednesday.
The Italian scheme is expected to yield about 600 million euros ($662 million) a year, sources said on Monday as Rome tries to find alternative revenues that will allow it to avoid a scheduled increase in sales tax. Italy and other EU members have long complained about the way web giants collect huge profits in their countries but pay only a few million euros in taxes each year.
But the European Union has so far failed to agree as a bloc on how to tax the firms. France and the US reached a deal in August to end a standoff over a French tax on big internet companies, with France repaying companies the difference between the French tax and a planned mechanism being drawn up by the OECD.

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