Spain aims to tax services like Whatsapp based on revenue

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Whatsapp logo is placed on the keyboard in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain is proposing to tax companies providing calls and instant messaging services, such as Whatsapp, based on their revenue, a senior government official said on Friday.

Levies would be imposed on instant messaging providers in the same way as it is on telecoms operators, under a new draft law which was published on Friday, starting a consultation period in which people are invited to give feedback.

“The way we consume communications services has changed, and competitive conditions have changed as a result,” Roberto Sanchez, Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, told reporters.

Companies that turn over more than 1 million euros ($1.2 million) a year will be subject to the tax which will not be allowed to exceed one euro per every thousand euros of gross revenue, the draft law showed.

The public are invited to make observations on the law over the next month, Sanchez said.

Spain is among European proponents of more stringent tax regimes for big internet companies.

($1 = 0.8450 euros)

Reporting by Isla Binnie, editing by Andrei Khalip and David Evans