Wednesday , 19 January 2022
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Editorial

As we enter the new year of 2022, the whole team of LTE Magazine wishes you health and happiness and to wish you joyous personal and collective achievements. May that new year be a year of freedom of travel and exchange; in particular, may that year be a year of exchange of ideas that allows people to flourish and states to manage their financial and fiscal needs.

This 40th issue will be focused on taxation in the digital age, a theme that was presented at the 6th Arab Forum on Internet Governance (AIGF) held in Beirut, Lebanon from December 14 to 23, 2021. The telecom operators are fighting the giants of the Internet with taxation so as to be paid for all the services and infrastructure that these giants benefit from. As a quick aside, let’s clarify a few things, starting with taxation, which is the set of laws and rules governing the determination and collection of taxes.

In other words, it represents all the measures taken by the public authorities to collect various levies necessary for the financial needs of the financial needs of the state. A tax is a compulsory payment collected for the benefit of the State as a result of a public service, such as the tax on public utilities. A fee is a regular or periodic payment made in exchange for a contractually agreed benefit.

The frequency usage fees paid by the companies to the entities responsible for spectrum management, for example.Withholding tax is a tax applied to companies not domiciled in a given country. In general, the latter are exempt if there are non-taxation agreements between the country and the home country of the company to be taxed. For example, the withholding tax is applied to the pricing between telecom operators, including international roaming. To promote global tax standards, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) operates in a multilateral framework. The OECD, therefore, has recently reached an agreement, in 2021, which provides for a minimum corporate tax of 15%. This tax is applied directly on the profits of companies based in a given country.  As for the digital taxation of digital giants, it consists of establishing a new legal standard due to the digital presence of a company. This new legislation will allow a company to be taxed even if it has no physical presence in a given country. And the debate continues within the OECD bodies without a definitive and clear-cut position. However, this position, which is slow in coming, is eagerly awaited by all countries because they are all concerned and crossed by the digital world. And while waiting, some countries, like France, have already taken action.  For example, the French government has amended its tax code through the law of 24/7/2019 creating a tax on digital services. For the year 2020, this tax has brought in 375 million euros for the French finances. Unlike the traditional corporate tax, the tax on digital giants is declarative and it is not applied on profits but on turnover. Finally, and still related to this month’s issue, we specify that the French tax on digital giants will only be applicable on a temporary basis and will be abolished as soon as the OECD puts in place an international tax policy for digital.

The following articles are offered to explore the parts of this file:

– The economic impact of digital giants by Ahmed Khaouja

– Understanding the taxation of digital giants by M.Y. Diop

– The taxation of commercial transactions on the Internet by M. Sbihi, researcher in management and an interview with René Serres on taxation in the digital age.

In the telecom section, we are dealing with 5G frequencies.

And finally, in the free section, we propose an article by Ahmed Khaouja “tribute to Abdu Salam” Nobel Prize in Physics who left us 25 years ago.

Other relevant information can be found in the “Events” section.

Finally, we would like to inform our dear readers that the next LTE magazine, N°41, will deal with the evolution of wifi 6 and 6 E.

By Ahmed Khaouja Director of PTT Maroc and ITU expert.

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