The 'tech tax': What you need to know

Social media
By Eleanor O'Neill, Student Blog

24 July 2017

A levy on social media companies and potentially for the wider online and technology industry is one of the more controversial proposals put forward in the Conservative Party manifesto.

Released ahead of the General Election on 8 June, the manifesto outlines the key plans of the Conservative government for the next four years.

This includes what has become known as a 'tech tax', charging businesses classed as social media companies and communication service providers under a similar model to the current gambling duty. The tax would fund efforts to regulate online activity and take preventative measures to improve cyber security.

While these latter points were mentioned in the 2017 Queen's Speech, the tech tax itself did not feature. However, there is a distinct possibility of it making an appearance in either the next Summer Finance Bill, expected for release before Parliament breaks for recess on 20 July, or in one of the other two Finance Bills due over the next two years.

The manifesto states: "Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree.

"While we cannot create this framework alone, it is for government, not private companies, to protect the security of people and ensure the fairness of the rules by which people and businesses abide."

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