For Immediate Release
Contact: Grace Morgan
June 27, 2019
+1 (202)-855-4380

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, International Governmental Organization (IGO) Watch, an international watchdog monitoring the activities of international governmental organizations, and 39 organizations from 19 countries, sent a letter to Finance Ministers across the G20 urging the officials to oppose any attempts to weaponize global conversations about digital commerce to tax tech companies. At a June 8 summit in Fukuoka, Japan, G20 Finance Ministers agreed to “close loopholes” in the taxation of digital services (i.e. social media platforms and search engines) across the world. These plans, set to be formalized by 2020, would impose new taxes on digital services used by billions of citizens and consumers across the globe to make their lives easier and start countless businesses.

IGO Watch President David Williams noted that, “taxpayers across the G20 already have their hands full fighting taxes and needless regulations by their own national governments. Now, they must grapple with the ‘ambitious’ designs of finance ministers to impose a global onerous tax regime targeting their favorite online services. Taxpayers and taxpayer groups from G20 countries and around the world must band together to hold these officials accountable.”

Williams continued, “Social media services by companies such as Facebook and Twitter allow billions of people across the globe to communicate instantaneously and helps businesses reach out to consumers, ending the days where only large businesses could afford advertising and outreach. Taxing these platforms would lead to price hikes for countless citizens, companies and entrepreneurs across the G20, and make the internet a far more limited, expensive experience for ordinary citizens reaching out to friends and family.”

Williams concluded, “Finance ministers must reject calls to further tax online platforms and make life more difficult for billions of citizens using the internet to make their lives easier on a daily basis. The internet must remain an accessible place free of heavy-handed government taxation and regulation.”

The coalition letter can be found online in English here. You can find the Spanish version of the coalition letter here.