CNET: France and Trump agree temporary truce on digital tech tax. “France and the US have agreed to a temporary truce over the European country’s tax on digital technology companies. The 3% tax, introduced by France last year, applies to companies with revenues of more than 25 million euros ($28M) in France and 750 million euros ($832M) worldwide. It attracted the ire of US President Donald Trump, who interpreted it as a direct attack on the success of US tech giants. He threatened to retaliate by imposing tariffs on French goods, including Champagne and handbags, imported to the US.”
ProPublica: How to File Your State and Federal Taxes for Free in 2020. “TurboTax and other tax prep services advertised themselves as ‘free,’ but we found several ways that they tricked people into paying. Here’s our guide to preparing and filing your taxes without falling into a trap.”
Neowin: France tells the U.S. it will retaliate over any action against its digital tax. “France has announced it will retaliate against any action taken by the United States against its digital services tax. The announcement by France’s economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, comes as a bit of a surprise because the two sides seemed to have come to an agreement over the issue back in August during the G7 event.”
ABC 7 News: Mountain View’s controversial head tax, meant to alleviate Google’s impact on traffic and social services, now in effect. “Mountain View’s controversial employee head tax went into effect on New Year’s Day. The tax, which charges businesses based on the number of employees they have working in the city, was designed to alleviate Google’s big impact on the city’s traffic and social services.”
ProPublica: IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax. “The IRS announced significant changes Monday to its deal with the tax prep software industry. Now companies are barred from hiding their free products from search engines such as Google, and a years-old prohibition on the IRS creating its own online filing system has been scrapped.”
Reuters: French court clears social media tracking plan in tax crackdown. “France’s government can pursue plans to trawl social media to detect tax avoidance, its Constitutional Court ruled on Friday, although it introduced limitations on what information can be collected following a privacy outcry.” French government officials have already used Google Maps to catch swimming pool tax cheaters. Why is anybody surprised?
ProPublica: TurboTax Tricked Customers Into Paying to File Taxes. Now Several States Are Investigating It. . “Multiple state attorneys general, including Josh Stein of North Carolina, have opened investigations of TurboTax maker Intuit, following ProPublica’s reporting that the company charged millions of Americans for tax filing services they were eligible to receive for free, according to people with knowledge of the investigations.”