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IRS declares Bitcoin, virtual currencies as property for tax purposes

03/25, 4:10pm

Bitcoin miners required to declare earned virtual currency

The Internal Revenue Service has declared that Bitcoin should be classed as property for tax purposes, and not as a currency. The ruling, which clarifies the tax-related standings for its supporters, can be applied to virtual currencies, with the US government agency also stating that owners may need to pay more tax or deduct a loss depending on what happens to the value of the currency as it is owned.

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United Kingdom sales tax law changes could alter price of apps, music

03/24, 8:47am

Price of digital content could rise, fall in UK from 2015

A change in the way taxes are applied to purchases in the United Kingdom could cause some digital items to rise in price, according to a report. The country's recent budget announcement by chancellor George Osborne included a statement that would force online sales to use the UK's rate of sales tax (Value Added Tax, or VAT) instead of a far lower rate used elsewhere in Europe.

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Apple ordered to pay $16.5M in French 'copyright' tax for 2012

10/28, 4:33pm

Increase in cost demonstrates growing popularity of iPad in France

A number of countries -- such as Canada, Germany and France -- impose a special surtax on digital devices that can display or transfer copyrighted material, with the funds collected distributed to artists and copyright holders to partially compensate them for income losses due to piracy. Last year, Apple was ordered to pay some five million Euros ($6.9M US) to Copie France after losing a legal dispute over the issue. This year, the company has been ordered to pay €12M ($16.5M) for iPad sales over most of 2012.

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Google, Yahoo, Cisco under scrutiny after Apple tax avoidance hearing

05/22, 11:31am

Large tech companies hide funds in Cayman Islands, Switzerland

Large tech firms are coming under scrutiny over their tax avoidance measures, following the testimony of Apple executives to a US Senate Permanent Subcommittee. Google, Yahoo, Cisco, and other multinational corporations have been found to be using an assortment of tax loopholes and off-shoring in order to avoid paying governments in the US and Europe at least $100 billion.

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France considering new 'culture tax' on technology products

05/13, 12:20pm

May heighten tensions over tax avoidance in EU countries

French President Francoise Hollande is considering a new tax on tech products, the money from which would fund cultural projects. The move, which would be decided this summer and has been described as "minimal and widely distributed," may increase tensions between tech companies and the government of France -- along with other EU countries, many of which have complained that firms such as Apple and Google are gaming the system in order to avoid paying taxes that would normally be due.

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Marketplace Fairness Act enforcing Internet sales tax passed by Senate

04/22, 11:54pm

Bill requires businesses with $1 million annual sales to collect sales tax

The US Senate voted to move the online sales tax bill forward. The bill, known as the "Marketplace Fairness Act," will mandate collection of sales tax for purchases even across state lines by companies having annual online sales of more than $1 million per year. The bill was passed by a 74-20 margin, greatly exceeding the 60 votes is needed for cloture.

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Amazon endorses online sales tax simplification bill

02/14, 4:40pm

Represents an evolving position on sales tax collection

The biggest retailer on the Internet, Amazon, is throwing some of its weight behind a new Senate bill that would allow states to collect sales tax for online sales -- provided they simplify tax laws regarding variations in rates and collection methods. While not explicitly saying it endorses the bill in its current form, the Kindle maker thanked the authors of the bill for bringing the issue forward -- another sign that Amazon's formerly hard-line stance against online sales tax is softening.

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Nokia factory in India raided over unpaid $542M tax bill

01/08, 6:17pm

Team of 20 officials raid factory, operations continue unhindered

A factory in India that makes Nokia phones has been raided by tax authorities, according to reports. The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer's factory in Chennai was raided by 20 officials, with authorities claiming that taxes amounting to 3000 Crore INR ($542 million) have not been paid by the company to the Indian government.

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UK tax committee releases more Amazon financial details

11/28, 4:43pm

Continued requests to keep details confidential ignored by government

More details about Amazon's UK tax affairs have been released to the public by the British government, despite requests for secrecy. The ongoing Parliament's Public Accounts Select Committee released details supplied by the retailer relating to taxes, with the provided evidence showing that a total of Ł1.8 million ($2.9 million) in corporation tax was paid in 2011.

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Amazon claims sales success, UK government posts sales data

11/27, 1:11pm

Supplied sales information requested to remain confidential

Amazon has released details on its Black Friday and Cyber Monday Kindle sales, calling the two days the "best ever for the Kindle family." The figures are released at the same time as confidential sales figures for the company's UK operations were published by a parliamentary committee investigating its British tax affairs.

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German 'flash drive tax' jumps 2,338 percent

06/06, 6:47pm

Tax is 'compensation for private copying'

German publication Heise is reporting that the ZPÜ, the German organization responsible for administering a tax on blank media, has announced a sizable increase in the blank media levy. According to the ZPÜ's announcement, the fee on flash drives and similar storage devices up to 4GB will rise from about 10 cents to $1.93. For devices larger than 4GB, the fee will jump from 10 cents to $2.42. For the smaller devices, the new tax rate amounts to a 1,850 percent increase, while the rate jumps 2,338 percent for larger storage media.

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Luxembourg official responds to Apple tax strategies

05/08, 3:16pm

Apple taxes correctly in EU says Luxembourg official

A Luxembourg official has spoken out against a recent investigation into Apple's tax avoidance strategies. In a letter to the editor of the New York Times, an executive director at the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office defended Apple and the country, saying they are applying EU tax law correctly.

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Amazon sues NY state over tax collections

05/02, 12:45am

Amazon sues New York State

Amazon has filed for legal action against the State of New York because of a bill that recently passed, requiring online resellers to collect sales tax to New York residents. The New York Times writes that the online commerce giant is suing not out of desire to see taxes abolished from goods bought over the internet, rather that it does not wish to be held liable for collecting taxes, the company feels is the job of state officials.

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