Europeans push for more digital tax at G20 meeting

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BUENOS AIRES: Europe’s financial leaders called for progress on global rules to tax digital sphere of the economy at G20 summit of finance ministers and central bankers.

The European Commission proposed more tax rules for digital firms, with US tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon set to contribute a larger extent to the bill.


Somewhere in the range of 200 organizations would fall inside the scope of new tax bracket, European authorities said at the time, assessing extra yearly incomes of around 5 billion euros (US$6 billion)

Major digital companies had “to pay their fair share of tax, because basically what we are talking about here is fairness,” European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici told reporters at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires.

He said he is calling for a turnover tax to be adopted before the end of the year as an interim solution.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier this year that he “firmly opposes proposals by any country to single out digital companies,” noting that those firms were key contributors to the US economy.

Australia Treasurer Scott Morrison said the G20 discussions were useful because they established the root of the problem: that “no one knows” how to measure for tax purposes the value of the data users of social media services like Facebook create outside of the countries where those firms are based.

“Taxation should be where the moneymaking is and if the digital economy is making the money all over the world it doesn’t really make sense if they only will declare their income in the United States,” said Hubert Fuchs, the European Council representative to the G20.

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