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New Zealand Wants to Tax Online Giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon

February 18, 2019, 10:41 AM UTC

New Zealand just became the latest country to announce plans for a digital tax on Internet giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

Speaking at a weekly news conference, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she and her cabinet had agreed to release a discussion document on the issue, adding that the country’s current tax system was “not fair in the way it treats individual taxpayers, and how it treats multinationals.”

With this announcement, New Zealand joins a growing list of countries specifically targeting multinational online companies. France, Austria, the U.K., Spain, and Italy are all pressing forward with a digital tax at the national level following the EU’s failure to agree one that would cover the whole bloc. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is also hoping its members will be able to agree to a unified policy, while India has announced plans for a digital services tax, and Australia is considering it.

New Zealand’s proposed tax would claim about 2% or 3% of the revenue overseas online companies make in the country. That would bring in between NZ$30 million ($20.6 million) and NZ$80 million ($55 million), according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson.