CIOT / IFS Tax Debate: The Digital Services Tax

10-11, Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH
Monday, November 18, 2019 -
6:30pm to 8:00pm

Invitation to a debate on the Digital Services Tax from the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies          

From April next year, the UK Government plan to introduce a new 2% tax on the revenues of search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces which derive value from UK users. A similar French proposal is already in place. Both the British and French governments – and those of other countries planning similar measures – say these taxes are temporary and they will scrap them once international agreement is reached in this area.

Following talks with the US government, France has pledged to reimburse affected companies any excess taxes once an international deal is in place. Should the UK do the same? How likely is a global deal? Following signs of progress at the OECD earlier this month should DSTs be put on hold? Or, by focusing minds, are they the reason progress is being made on international agreement?

Our expert panel (see below) will explore both the principles of DSTs and the specifics of the UK Government’s proposal. Are DSTs a sensible and fair way of taxing large digital companies? Is the scope and level of the UK proposal appropriate? Is it helpful, or even possible, to ringfence the digital economy from the traditional economy? Does this presage a wider shift to taxing business revenues, and what would be the implications of that? These are just some of the questions they will reflect upon.

Details of the event and how to register are as follows: 

CIOT / IFS Tax Debate: The Digital Services Tax

Venue: 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH
Date: Monday 18th November
Time: 6pm with refreshments, debate starts at 6.30pm

The debate will conclude by 8pm and will be followed by a drinks reception.

Our panel:

  • Richard Collier, Senior Tax Advisor, OECD
  • Mike Devereux, Director, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation
  • Ali Kennedy, Vice President Group Tax, Sophos Group plc
  • Glyn Fullelove, President, Chartered Institute of Taxation
  • Paul Johnson, Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies (chair)

(NB. Regrettably Tim Power of HM Treasury is no longer able to take part in this debate due to election purdah.)

If you would like to attend, please RSVP here no later than Friday 15 November 2019. This event is free to attend and open to all with an interest in the topic but must be registered for. If you have colleagues who might also like to attend do please share this link with them.

This is the latest in a series of lectures and debates being organised by the CIOT and the IFS to promote debate among policy-makers, opinion-formers and wider tax and economics communities on the future of the UK and international tax systems.

If you have any questions, please contact events [at]


Organiser name: 
Darcia Williams