Advertisement

First cracks emerge in EU plan to raise online giants' tax bill

First cracks emerge in EU plan to raise online giants' tax bill
From Reuters - September 16, 2017

TALLINN (Reuters) - First signs of open scepticism appeared on Saturday over a European Union plan to raise the tax bill of digital multinationals, as some finance ministers from smaller EU states raised concerns about the economic impact.

France is pushing for a new way of taxing online giants on the basis of their turnover, rather than their profits, to increase tax revenues from companies such as Google or Facebook, which are accused of paying too little in Europe.

It has gathered the support of about a third of the 28 EU governments but would need the backing of all member states to reduce risks of legal challenges.

We should be very careful, Denmarks Finance Minister Kristian Jensen said, warning of the risks of pushing innovative companies away from Europe.

Speaking on his arrival at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Estonia, which will focus on taxation of the digital economy, he said that he was always sceptical of new taxes.

His remarks were echoed by Luxembourgs Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna, who acknowledged there was an issue with online giants taxation, but said a tax on turnover would hit loss-making companies which are otherwise exempted from paying.

He said any EU solution would need to be backed at global level to avoid affecting Europes competitiveness. It does not make any sense for Europe to move without a global agreement, he said.

Advertisement

Continue reading at Reuters »