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Italy delays ‘Google tax’ until July, OKs funds for business, welfare


By James Mackenzie ROME (Reuters) – Italy delayed the start of its planned Internet tax until July 2014, approved billions of euros in business and welfare measures and extended a ban on media cross-ownership in a final package of year-end legislation approved on Friday. The launch of an Internet tax, sometimes dubbed the Google tax, passed this week by parliament, will be postponed until July, 1, 2014, Prime Minister Enrico Lettas office said in a statement. The tax, designed to ensure that companies that advertise and sell online in Italy do so only through companies with a tax presence in the country, has been criticized by the European Commission, which expressed doubts on its legality before it was approved in parliament. The package announced after Fridays cabinet meeting included measures to allow Italy to use 6.2 billion euros in European Union funds, which have already been approved, to help small businesses, fight youth unemployment and help local economies by funding the maintenance of historic sites.

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