The Online Advertising Tax Hits the Wrong People

In Austria advertising is punished by tax, with a five percent levy that is payable in addition to sales tax. It has been applicable to print advertising for many years – and this year also to online advertising. Politicians justified the expansion to online advertising last year by asking large Internet companies such as Google or Facebook to pay because they pay little or no taxes for their profits made in Austria. Even then, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce warned that this shot would backfire because the Internet giants would be charged the new fee directly to the clients, i.e. the Austrian companies. This would not result in fair taxation of the US-dominated Internet industry, but only make advertising more expensive in Austria.

Immediate abolition of the imprecise advertising tax

That is precisely what has now been confirmed in black and white, around nine months after its introduction. The Vienna Chamber of Commerce is therefore calling for the immediate abolition of the unsafe advertising tax – both those on online advertising and those on print advertising. In addition, it must be ensured in cooperation with other EU states that the Internet giants in Europe pay taxes on their profits where they are made – as do domestic companies. In any case, the digital tax in its current form does not create tax justice, but hits the wrong people. The WK Vienna demands that the levy on print advertising must finally be abolished. Because of the massive Corona economic crisis, companies need to be supported in getting started again. Increasing the cost of advertising extra in this sensitive phase is therefore counterproductive.

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