France to Impose Tax on U.S. Technology Companies in 2019

On January 1, 2019, the French government will begin to tax digital companies including Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, even as other members of the European Union have balked at imposing an EU-wide tax. French finance minister Bruno Le Maire declared that, as the other EU countries debate, his country will move forward alone, estimating that the total tax bill will come to 500 million Euros ($568 million), which will help defray 10 billion Euros in emergency spending announced by President Emmanuel Macron. Continue reading France to Impose Tax on U.S. Technology Companies in 2019

Los Angeles Mayor Launches Entrepreneur in Residence Program

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced the city’s Entrepreneur In Residence Program, an initiative sponsored by Ernst & Young. Garcetti has appointed two notable entrepreneurs — Krisztina “Z” Holly and Amir Tehrani — to help create jobs and develop ideas for boosting L.A.’s economy. In addition to developing new business policies, Holly and Tehrani will coordinate with non-profits, educational institutions and businesses to foster entrepreneurship. Continue reading Los Angeles Mayor Launches Entrepreneur in Residence Program

Bug Causes Scramble to Update Software and Change Passwords

Popular websites have been scrambling to update software and Internet users have been encouraged to change their passwords following the news of an encryption flaw known as the Heartbleed bug, which is already being categorized as one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever experienced. The bug has affected a number of websites and services (although the extent is not clear), and may have exposed account info including passwords and credit card numbers going back two years. UPDATE: Cisco and Juniper said yesterday that some of their networking products contain the bug, which means sensitive info may have been obtained while moving across corporate networks, home networks and the Internet. Continue reading Bug Causes Scramble to Update Software and Change Passwords

VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

PandoDaily and TheWrap are among those reporting that visual effects industry workers are planning a demonstration outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood during Sunday’s Academy Awards to protest ongoing efforts to send post-production work overseas. The group believes that offshoring has led to a slow collapse of the VFX industry in the U.S. While there was little the effects industry could do about this in the past, it may now be armed with a new weapon based on the MPAA’s attempts to combat Internet piracy. Continue reading VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

California Looks to Boost Tax Breaks for Film & TV Production

In response to the mounting competition California currently faces from nearly 40 states that offer financial incentives for TV and film production, Democratic State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra plans to introduce new legislation this month designed to keep production in California. The proposed legislation would increase the state’s $100 million annual budget for TV and film tax incentives. Additionally, it would expand productions eligible for tax credits to include big budget films and network series. Continue reading California Looks to Boost Tax Breaks for Film & TV Production

Amazon May Expand Same Day as Competitors Lower Prices

Amazon may be launching AmazonFresh, its same-day grocery and local product delivery service, into the New York City area. AmazonFresh is currently available in Los Angeles and Seattle. This potential move may be a first step toward extending same-day delivery and leveraging the company’s extensive distribution network for future expansion. But as the company grows its reach, brick-and-mortar retailers are challenging Amazon on prices, offering the same or even lower rates. Continue reading Amazon May Expand Same Day as Competitors Lower Prices

New Internet Tax Bill Passes in Senate, Moves to House

The U.S. Senate passed a bill on Monday that would subject online shoppers to state sales taxes. The 69 to 27 vote drew support from both sides of the aisle, but it is expected to face a greater challenge in the House from conservatives who view it as a tax increase. President Obama has expressed his support for the bill, which does not include businesses with less than $1 million in online sales. Current law stipulates that states can only require online retailers to collect sales tax on goods sold if the store has a physical presence in the state requiring the tax. Continue reading New Internet Tax Bill Passes in Senate, Moves to House

E-Commerce: Internet Sales Tax Proposal Moves Forward

The proposed Marketplace Fairness Act — legislation designed to help states force online retailers to collect sales taxes — made it past its first procedural obstacle Monday evening when the Senate voted 74-20 to consider the proposal for debate and amendment. Some anti-tax activists have described the bill as a tax grab, potential bureaucratic nightmare and infringement on states’ rights, while others view it as a necessary step to save brick-and-mortar retailers. Continue reading E-Commerce: Internet Sales Tax Proposal Moves Forward

U.S. Senate Votes in Favor of Levying Internet Sales Taxes

Some senators argued that implementing an Internet sales tax would be harmful to taxpayers, would be anti-business and would create a “bureaucratic nightmare.” Nonetheless, endorsement of Internet sales taxes onto a Democratic budget bill passed easily in the Senate last week by a 75 to 24 margin. The adopted amendment allows states to “collect taxes on remote sales,” ushering in the first national Internet sales tax. Continue reading U.S. Senate Votes in Favor of Levying Internet Sales Taxes

Lawmaker Introduces Another Proposed Tax on Violent Games

Republican lawmaker Diane Franklin of the Missouri House of Representatives is calling for a sales tax on all violent video games in response to the recent elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Her proposal is to put a one percent sales tax on such games, after which all proceeds would go to “finance mental health programs and law enforcement measures to curb mass shootings,” details KSDK. Continue reading Lawmaker Introduces Another Proposed Tax on Violent Games