REPORT: The federal government is considering a special tax on ad sales by global digital giants

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Independent senators are reportedly holding out for a tax on digital giants before they’ll help Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull get $175 billion worth of tax cuts over the line.

An exclusive report in the Sydney Morning Herald today claims the “influential” senators favour a new “digital tax” which would see Treasurer Scott Morrison walk away from proposed global solutions on how to tax the likes of Google, Facebook and Uber.

The SMH reports Morrison is considering what would look “more like a sales tax through a GST-style levy paid on advertising”, which could potentially be passed on to the consumer.

A discussion paper on policy options is due to be released “soon”. If a digital tax is on the cards, a vote on the government’s $140 billion income tax cut plan and its $35.6 billion bid to lower the corporate tax rate could be held “within two weeks”, the SMH reports.

Other measures to pull more tax from international tech companies include a GST on travel sites, which could possibly be extended to accommodation share sites such as Airbnb, and a 10% GST to the delivery fee for operators such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

Google Australia last year paid $37 million in tax on a total profit of $125 million, while Facebook reported a loss of $9.6 million on $476.8 million revenue in 2016 after settling a $31.6 million debt for previous years with the ATO.

You can read more about the proposed digital tax on Facebook, Google and Uber at the SMH here.

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