Google Ads: Digital Sales Tax expands to four more countries

Posted on 03/09/2020 by Jack Brown

New fees for any advertisers targeting the UK, Austria or Turkey with their Google Ads.

Updated: 27th July, 2021

Google announced today that there would be new fees added on to the ad spend for any advertiser targeting Italy, Spain, France & India – additions to the list from November last year already containing the UK, Austria and Turkey. This is a direct response to new taxes put in place by the respective governments on digital services including search engines and social media platforms.

When will they start charging?

As of the 1st of October, 2021 any advertiser with ads appearing in the France, India, Italy or Spain through Google Ads will be hit with the below additional fees on top of their standard ad spend and tax – with the UK, Austria and Turkey already charging the below fees since November, 2020:

  • France – 2%
  • India – 2%
  • Italy – 2%
  • Spain 2%
  • UK – 2% 
  • Austria – 5%
  • Turkey – 5%

Google is late to the party with this one, Amazon added similar charges to sellers back in August, 2020. Other ad networks are yet to follow suit but it’s likely that Facebook, Microsoft and others may also look to pass on the DST fee to advertisers.


How will this impact my ads?

When it comes to how this may affect your current advertising, many advertisers may just accept the fee as an additional tax on top of what they’re spending – others with more strict budgets may need to adjust their ad spend to account for the additional 2% fee to ensure they’re not exceeding monthly or annual budget limits.

This may not just affect advertisers that are directly targeting countries in the list above. If you’ve got your location settings in the campaign to include users that are “interested in or frequent visitors” of your targeted location but also reside in one of the three countries above, the impressions that you get from these visitors all count under the new fee and the 2% tax will apply.

An easy way for advertisers to check if they’ll be affected is to go into their Google Ads account, pick a recent time period and check through the geo-report to see where ads have shown.

What should I do next?

Do these countries above appear in your list? If so, check your location targeting settings at a campaign level and ad location exclusions to them if you’re not actively trying to hit these people.

Overall, it’s not great news for advertisers. Especially those with tight budgets that may have to pull back their actual ad spend and will likely see a drop in conversions.

If you want to speak to an expert on how you’re spending your digital marketing budget, drop us a line!

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Google Ads: Digital Sales Tax expands to four more countries

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