The Maryland State House in Annapolis, Md. Photo: AP.
Policy Google Facebook

States Advance Efforts to Tax Digital Revenue

By
Ashley Gold
 |  March 11, 2020 10:22 AM PDT
Photo: The Maryland State House in Annapolis, Md. Photo: AP.

As tech companies fend off digital tax proposals from France and other countries looking to cash in on the success of American-grown firms, a new threat has emerged at home. A number of U.S. states, including Maryland, Nebraska and New York, have proposed their own taxes on the revenue or income companies generate from online advertising and other services.

The proposals vary in approach and scope, but they all center around the idea that big internet companies, having built their fortunes in part through the use of consumers’ personal information, should be contributing more to government coffers. The bills, which face mixed prospects for adoption, have drawn the ire of tech companies and other business groups, who say it could be challenging to determine precisely how much of their ad revenue comes from each state. In addition, tax experts said, the proposals could run afoul of federal law.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Takeaway Media/Telecom Google
Accepting Kickbacks, Publishers Are Playing Into Tech Companies’ Hands

For years, news publishers have been clamoring for Facebook, Google and Apple to pay for the news content that gets distributed through their services. Well, they have gotten what they wished for—sort of. And it’s troubling news.

Latest Briefs
 
Unity Software Sees 30% Surge in Stock After IPO
NBCU Reaches Deal with Roku for Carrying Peacock
U.S. to Ban New TikTok, WeChat Downloads Starting Sept. 20
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Exclusive Enterprise COVID-19
Zoom Invests in Big Messaging Upgrade in Challenge to Slack
Zoom Video Communications became a household name with a video conferencing service that has become a ubiquitous tool for businesses and students during the pandemic.
True Value Startups Markets
Five New Software Stocks: Why Investors Love Some and Hate Others
Five enterprise software companies are going public this month, cashing in on the sector’s enormous popularity with investors.
Exclusive Policy Google
In Ironic Twist, Google’s Pro-Privacy Move Boosted U.S. Antitrust Probe
Google has taken a lot of heat for violating people’s privacy. Now it could get in trouble for trying to protect it.
Exclusive Google Enterprise
With TikTok Deal, Oracle Could Gain Billion-Dollar Cloud Customer
Oracle’s deal to act as TikTok’s new “trusted technology partner” could be worth more than $1 billion in potential revenue annually for Oracle’s cloud business in the coming years, according to previously undisclosed data viewed by The Information.
Org Charts Asia
The People With Power at TikTok Owner Bytedance
ByteDance, owner of the powerhouse social media app TikTok that is caught up in the U.S.-China trade and cybersecurity war, has been busy restructuring itself as it looks to duplicate TikTok’s success internationally with some of its newer apps, according to new data viewed by The Information.
News Analysis Asia
How China’s ByteDance Avoided Worst-Case Scenario for TikTok
Two weeks ago, Microsoft told bankers it was confident it was the frontrunner in a bid to acquire TikTok’s operations in the U.S.