Europe Proposes Social Media Tax

If you click on a picture, if you share a post, if you like a comment, you set in motion business transactions that MUST be taxed.  After all, you do realize if there’s any profit made anywhere doing anything that the government has some magical mystery right to get its cut, right?

That’s the logic behind a push by the European Union to create a new tax scheme that would result in charging you for using social media.  Sure, they’ll say they’re taxing “Big Social” but they’re really taxing you, because Big Social will pass the cost on to its advertisers, which will pass the cost on to you.

The delightful part of this story is that the United States and the EU will find themselves at odds with each other as they fight over who gets the magical mystery right to take their cut of the profit from someone else’s efforts as the parties involved are crossing magical mystery boundaries as well.

From NYTimes.com

Targeting Tech Giants, Europe Unveils Digital Tax Proposal

European authorities on Wednesday proposed revamping the way many technology companies in the region are taxed, outlining wide-ranging changes that they hope will curb tax avoidance across the European Union.

The system would tax a company’s revenues in the countries where they are generated, rather than its profits. Regulators say so-called profit-shifting allows some businesses to use regional offices in low-tax countries to reduce payments.

The plan pits the European Union against the United States as both sides battle to retain corporate tax revenue. It is one of a number of issues on which Brussels and Washington have clashed, from the broader regulation of the technology industry to a dispute over American steel and aluminum tariffs.

“The digital revolution has turned our economies upside down,” said Pierre Moscovici, the European Union’s tax commissioner. “When you ‘like’ a picture, when you post a video on social media,” he said, “your click sets in motion a chain of business transactions and thus creates considerable profits.”

“But under today’s rules, those profits are not taxed,” Mr. Moscovici said. “The current legal vacuum is creating a substantial shortfall in the budgetary revenues of our member states.” It also creates an uneven playing field between digital and traditional businesses, he argued..

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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at pg@istate.tv