Posts belonging to Category taxation



Seven West Media signs multimillion-dollar deal to join Google’s News Showcase

How to force Google to pay

Seven West Media is the first large Australian media company to sign a multimillion-dollar agreement with Google for its content to be displayed in a new product called News Showcase, with Seven describing the deal as “fair payment”.

The deal came as the federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said legislation to go before parliament on Tuesday would be a “precursor” to more commercial deals between Google, and “ideally” Facebook, with news organisations.

News Showcase is a feature on the Google News app that puts publishers’ content in panels, providing more information and content than is found in search results or snippets. The search giant said Australian Showcase partners had more than 1m views of their content in the first eight days of its operation.

Australia’s world-first mandatory media code was designed to force Google and Facebook to pay for displaying news content in search and on Facebook’s news feed. It is understood Google may be willing to pay media companies similar amounts via Showcase licensing deals to avoid setting the precedent of paying for content displayed in search.

https://www.theguardian.com/

A look at Biden’s first executive orders in office

In his first official acts as president, Joe Biden is signing executives orders on a broad range of issues, from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change and immigration, to fulfill campaign promises. Biden is requiring the use of masks and social distancing in all federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors. Consistently masking up is a practice that science has shown to be effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, particularly when social distancing is difficult to maintain. He is challenging all Americans to wear a mask for the first 100 days of his administration. That’s a critical period, since communities will still be vulnerable to the virus even as the pace of vaccination increases in pursuit of Biden’s goal of 100 million shots in 100 days.
Biden also is directing the government to rejoin the World Health Organization, which Donald Trump withdrew from earlier this year after accusing it of incompetence and bowing to Chinese pressure over the coronavirus. Symbolizing Biden’s commitment to a more prominent global role, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci will deliver a speech Thursday to the WHO as head of a U.S. delegation. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, will lay out how the administration intends to work with the WHO on reforms, supporting the coronavirus response and promoting global health and health security

Biden will sign an executive orders to rejoin the Paris climate accord, fulfilling a campaign pledge to get back into the global climate pact on Day One. Trump, a supporter of oil, gas and coal, had made a first priority of pulling out of global efforts to cut climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions. It will take 30 days for the U.S. to officially be back in.

Ending ban on Muslim travelers: Biden is ending what is variously known as the “travel ban” or the “Muslim ban,” one of the first acts of the Trump administration. Trump in January 2017 banned foreign nationals from seven mostly Muslim countries from entry into the country. After a lengthy court fight, a watered-down version of the rule was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in 2018. The new administration says it will improve the screening of visitors by strengthening information sharing with foreign governments and other measures.

Biden is immediately ending the national emergency that Trump declared on the border in February 2018 to divert billions of dollars from the Defense Department to wall construction. He also is halting construction to review contracts and how wall money might be redirected. Despite Trump’s repeated promises that Mexico would pay for the wall, U.S. Customs and Border Protection says Americans have committed $15 billion for more than 700 miles (1,120 kilometers). It is unclear how many miles are under contract and what penalties the government would have to pay for canceling them. The Supreme Court has scheduled arguments Feb. 22 on the legality of Trump’s diverting Defense Department funds for counter-narcotics efforts and military construction projects to wall construction.

Biden will order his Cabinet to work to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has shielded hundreds of thousands of people who came to the country as young children from deportation since it was introduced in 2012.  Trump ordered an end to DACA in 2017, triggering a legal challenge that ended in June when the Supreme Court ruled that it should be kept in place because the Trump administration failed to follow federal rule-making guidelines in undoing it. But DACA is still facing legal challenges.

In his presidential proclamation, Biden is calling on Congress to adopt legislation that gives DACA recipients permanent legal status and a path to citizenship. There are currently about 700,000 people enrolled. Biden is revoking one of Trump’s first executive orders, which declared that all of the roughly 11 million people in the country illegally are considered priorities for deportation. The Department of Homeland Security will conduct a review of enforcement priorities. Biden’s campaign site says deportations will focus on national security and public safety threats. The order says nothing about a 100-day moratorium on deportations that Biden promised during the campaign. Susan Rice, who is tapped to run the White House Domestic Policy Council, says any decision on moratoriums would come from Homeland Security.

Biden is reversing a Trump plan to exclude people in the country illegally from being counted in the 2020 Census. The once-a-decade census is used to determine how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state gets, as well as the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal spending each year. Biden’s team says the new administration will ensure the Census Bureau has time to complete an accurate count for each state and that the apportionment is “fair and accurate.” Biden is also proposing legislation that would grant green cards and a path to citizenship to anyone in the United States before Jan. 1, 2021, an estimated 11 million people. Most would have to wait eight years for citizenship but people enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for young immigrants and with Temporary Protective Status for fleeing strife-torn countries would only wait three years. Other provisions lessen the time that many people have to wait outside the United States for green cards, provide development aid to Central America and reduce the 1.2-million-case backlog in immigration courts.

Biden is asking the Education Department to extend a pause on federal student loan payments through at least Sept. 30, continuing a moratorium that began early in the pandemic but was set to expire at the end of January. Borrowers, who owe a collective $1.5 trillion, would not be required to make payments on their federal student loans, their loans would not accrue any interest, and all debt collection activity would halt through September. Congress paused student debt payments last March as part of a virus relief package, and the Trump administration extended it twice.
Biden’s order does not include the type of mass debt cancellation that some Democrats asked him to orchestrate through executive action. He has said that action should come from Congress.Housing foreclosures and evictions would be delayed until at least March 31, 2021. Almost 12 percent of homeowners with mortgages are, while 19 percent of renters are behind, according to a Census Bureau survey of households. The federal moratoriums would ensure that people could stay in their homes even if they cannot afford their monthly bills. Biden is also calling on Congress to extend assistance to renters. While the moratoriums have aided several million Americans during the pandemic and helped to contain the disease, they have also meant that billions of dollars in housing costs have gone unpaid.

https://www.pbs.org/

China’s export surge continued in December

Exports grew by 18.1 per cent in December from a year earlier

China’s exports continued to surge in December, data released by its customs agency on Thursday showed. Exports grew by 18.1 per cent last month from a year earlier, down from 21.1 per cent in November but above the consensus result of a survey of analysts, conducted by Bloomberg, which predicted 15.0 per cent growth.

This was the seventh consecutive month of export growth, with China’s factories continuing to capitalise on coronavirus lockdowns in the West.

https://www.scmp.com/

Facebook to close Irish holding companies

At the  centre of tax dispute

Facebook is winding up Irish holding companies it has used to channel billions of profits to avoid paying taxes in the US, the UK and hundreds of other countries. The company’s main Irish subsidiary paid $101m (£75m) in tax while recording profits of more than $15bn in 2018, the last year for which records are available. Facebook companies around the world paid the Irish holding company for use of its intellectual property. Facebook International Holdings I Unlimited Company recorded revenue of $30bn in 2018, more than half of Facebook’s total global turnover of $56bn.

The company’s decision to close the Irish divisions and return its intellectual property to the US came shortly after the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) took the company to court claiming it owed more than $9bn linked to its 2010 decision to shift its profits to Ireland. Before its stock market flotation in 2012, Facebook valued its intangible assets at $6.5bn in 2010, but the IRS claimed the true value was $21bn.

https://www.theguardian.com/

New fiscal support will set up an economic boom in the second half of 2021

 300,000 jobs per month created

Fiscal support will bolster US consumers and lead to an economic boom in the second half of 2021, according to a team of Evercore analysts led by Dennis DeBusschere.

“Despite what angry twitter folks and some news outlets are suggesting, the current fiscal package is large enough to make a significant difference for individuals,” the analysts said in a note to clients on Thursday.

The current proposed fiscal package will be roughly 3.5% of GDP in the first quarter, and could potentially add up to 300,000 jobs per month, Evercore said. This could occur even if direct payments to individuals are only $600, but Evercore predicts that amount will increase before a bill is passed.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/

Channel transport halted as EU countries ban UK travel over Covid variant

Crippling delays on the UK’s main freight link with the EU

At least 10 European countries banned travel from the UK on Sunday amid concern over a more infectious new strain of Covid-19 in Britain, with France calling a halt to freight transport across the English Channel. Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands were among the first countries to bar people coming from the UK after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

The move by Paris to impose a 48-hour block on people and truck-borne freight coming into France from Britain from Monday prompted the closure of transport services across the English Channel, notably between Dover and Calais. It raised the prospect of crippling delays on the UK’s main freight link with the EU, which usually handles up to 10,000 trucks a day. Boris Johnson, British prime minister, will chair an emergency meeting of officials on Monday to discuss ways to ensure the flow of freight into the UK.

The meeting comes at a fraught moment in Britain’s negotiations to leave the EU, with talks on a trade deal continuing ahead of the UK’s scheduled departure from the single market on January 1.

https://www.ft.com/

Supermarkets ‘told to stockpile food’ as fears grow of no-deal Brexit

Brexit talks enter final day amid fears of no-deal

The UK government is reported to have warned supermarkets to stockpile food and other essential supplies amid increasing fears of a no-deal Brexit in less than three weeks’ time.

Boris Johnson and the president of EU commission, Ursula von der Leyen, agreed on Sunday to continue with the fraught trade negotiations, but ministers have played down the chances of a deal. And in anticipation of shortages prompted by a no-deal, ministers have told supermarkets to start stockpiling goods.

https://www.theguardian.com/

The potential impact of Brexit without a trade deal

Financial markets to tumble and huge economic costs

Britain and the European Union are seeking a post-Brexit trade deal, with failure likely to result in increased chaos in mutual trade, financial markets tumbling and huge economic costs. Here are some of the potential pressure points of a failure to reach agreement on trade.

Investors and banks have long predicted a trade deal would be done, so a no-deal would hit the British pound, foreign exchange traders say. But investor sentiment was hit by the sides saying on Saturday that there was still no agreement covering annual trade worth nearly $1 trillion, and sterling has fallen against the U.S. dollar since then. The shock result of Britain’s referendum on leaving the EU in 2016 sent the pound down 8% against the dollar, its biggest one-day fall since the era of free-floating exchange rates began in the 1970s.

In the case of a “no deal” on trade , Britain would lose zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the European single market of 450 million consumers overnight. Britain would default to World Trade Organization (WTO) terms in its trade with the 27-state bloc. It would impose its new UK global tariff (UKGT) on EU imports while the EU would impose its common external tariff on UK imports. Non-tariff barriers could hinder trade, with prices widely expected to rise for British consumers and businesses

Borders risk disruption, especially the main crossing points, with experts saying shortages of certain foods are possible in Britain as it imports 60% of its fresh food, with disruptions in British lamb exports to the EU also possible. Any disruption would be felt most keenly by sectors that rely on just-in-time supply chains, including autos, food and beverages. Other sectors likely to be affected would include textiles, pharmaceuticals, and chemical and petroleum products.

https://fr.reuters.com/

China Exports Surge

Overseas shipments grew 21.1 percent

China’s exports rose in November at their fastest pace in almost three years, official figures showed Monday, as a surge in demand in key markets ahead of the festive period also helped the country post a record trade surplus.

The reading is the latest spot of good news out of the world’s number two economy, which has been enjoying a bounceback from virus-induced lockdowns that sent it into a rare contraction earlier in the year.

Overseas shipments grew 21.1 percent on-year last month to $268 billion thanks to strong demand for medical goods and electronics.

The figures — the best since February 2018 — surpassed the 12 percent tipped in a Bloomberg poll of analysts and was much better than the 11.4 percent seen in October. The reading also marked the sixth straight month of growth.

https://www.barrons.com/

Brexit: Biden stressed the importance of protecting Northern Ireland’s peace deal

Good Friday agreement at risk

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said on Tuesday he did not want to see a guarded border between Ireland and the United Kingdom, adding that he had previously discussed the matter with the British and Irish prime ministers and other European leaders. Biden had stressed the importance of protecting Northern Ireland’s peace deal in the Brexit process in a call with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in the month, after Biden won the Nov. 3 U.S. election against President Donald Trump.

Johnson’s government is seeking a trade deal with the European Union but says it is willing to leave without one. That could complicate the situation at the sensitive Northern Irish border with Ireland – the UK’s only land border with the EU. Biden told journalists in Wilmington, Delaware, that the border must be open.

https://www.reuters.com/

Asia-Pacific countries sign world’s biggest trade pact

Eight years to bring a conclusion for signing

China and 14 other countries agreed Sunday to set up the world’s largest trading bloc, encompassing nearly a third of all economic activity, in a deal many in Asia are hoping will help hasten a recovery from the shocks of the pandemic. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, was signed virtually on Sunday on the sidelines of the annual summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The accord will take already low tariffs on trade between member countries still lower, over time, and is less comprehensive than an 11-nation trans-Pacific trade deal that President Donald Trump pulled out of shortly after taking office.

Apart from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, it includes China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, but not the United States. Officials said the accord leaves the door open for India, which dropped out due to fierce domestic opposition to its market-opening requirements, to rejoin the bloc.

Four years after Donald Trump launched his “America First” policy of forging trade deals with individual countries, Asia remains committed to multi-nation efforts toward freer trade that are seen as a formula for future prosperity.

https://www.euronews.com/

Amazon Charged With Antitrust Violations by European Regulators

European Commission said Amazon was unfairly using data to box out smaller competitors

European Union regulators brought antitrust charges against Amazon on Tuesday, saying the online retail giant broke competition laws by unfairly using its size and access to data to harm smaller merchants that rely on the company to reach customers.

The European Commission, the executive branch of the 27-nation bloc, said Amazon had abused its dual role as both a store used by scores of vendors and a merchant that sells its own competing goods on the platform. The authorities accused Amazon of harvesting nonpublic data from sellers who use its marketplace to spot popular products, then copy and sell them, often at a lower price. The case, which had been expected for months, is the latest front in a trans-Atlantic regulatory push against Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google as the authorities in the United States and Europe take a more skeptical view of their business practices and dominance of the digital economy. Last month, the Justice Department brought antitrust charges against Google, and Apple and Facebook are also facing investigations in both Washington and Brussels.

www.nytimes.com

Uber and Lyft drivers to remain independent contractors

California voters approve Prop. 22

Californians sided with the $200-million Proposition 22 campaign led by Uber and Lyft, voting to pass the measure and grant ride-hail and delivery companies an exemption from California employment law to continue treating workers as independent contractors.

The fight was one of the most closely watched ballot measure contests in the country and the costliest in state history. A win for the app-based companies has the potential to create a new campaign paradigm, with companies sidestepping government and spending large sums of money to sway voters with traditional advertisements and more unconventional direct marketing to customers. The measure’s passage also deals a blow to California’s powerful labor unions, underdogs in the race with far fewer financial resources than their foes.

https://www.latimes.com/

 

Trump falsely claims victory with votes uncounted

Rival Biden confident

President Donald Trump falsely claimed victory over Democratic rival Joe Biden on Wednesday with millions of votes still uncounted in a White House race that will not be decided until a handful of states complete vote-counting over the next hours or days.

Shortly after Biden said he was confident of winning the contest once the votes are counted, Trump appeared at the White House to declare victory and said his lawyers would be taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, without specifying what they would claim.

“We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said. “This is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.”

https://www.reuters.com/

Trump will take advantage of the UK’s ‘weakness’ after Brexit

If re-elected

President Trump will  seek to “take advantage” of the UK’s “weakness” after Brexit, if he wins a second term, according to Britain’s former top diplomat in the US.

Sir Nigel Sheinwald — who served in Washington between 2007 and 2012 — said that President Trump had only a “superficial” interest in the UK, despite him and Johnson having demonstrated a warm personal relationship. He said that Trump would look to target the UK’s economic and diplomatic vulnerability once it has fully left the EU next year.

“I think that the mood [from Washington] has become increasingly hectoring and domineering,” Sheinwald told Business Insider. “And I think that is likely to intensify if President Trump wins a second term. All bars, all constraints, are off,” he said.

https://www.businessinsider.fr