Amazon and Google face new EU tax

Amazon and Google face new EU tax

By Callum Adams September 9 2017, 12:01am

Brussels has stepped up pressure on technology companies such as Google and Apple to pay more tax, with plans to revise national levies and introduce an EU-wide “equalisation tax”.

Paris and Berlin are leading calls for the reforms, according to the Financial Times, whereby taxes would be based on a company’s national turnover rather than profit.

The initiative is part of an attempt by Brussels to crack down on tax avoidance by multinationals.

The plan, which aims to resolve the disparate tax codes of EU member states, will be presented by Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, to all 28 EU finance ministers next week.

EU law requires all members, including low-tax countries such as Ireland and Luxembourg, to back legal changes to tax measures.

Mr Le Maire’s plan states: “We should no longer accept that these companies do business in Europe while paying minimal amounts of tax to our treasuries.”

His reforms have the potential to damage the business models of multinational technology groups.

Companies are able to declare profits in countries with the lowest effective tax rates, allowing some to pay little or no tax in European countries where they have billions in sales.

Airbnb paid less than €100,000 in taxes in France last year despite the country being one of its biggest markets.


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