Wednesday, 21 March 2018

European Union targets the likes of Facebook and Google with tech tax plan



The European Union says it is moving to block a "black hole" in tax laws through proposals to ensure large tech firms pay more of their fair share.
 
The plans are aimed at bringing the rules up to date, as digital businesses face accusations of avoiding tax in countries where they operate but may not have a physical presence.
 
 
The European Commission said it wanted an interim 3% levy on digital sales revenue of the biggest firms such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon - those with annual global revenues of at least £658m and EU revenues of £44m.


Officials hoped that would raise an estimated £4.3bn annually for member states from around 150 firms - at least half them in the US.


However, the EU is expected to face stiff opposition from within its own ranks to further proposals which would ensure that firms paid corporation tax on profits made in the country where revenues were generated.


Companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple have faced accusations dating back years that they shift profits through member states like Luxembourg and Ireland to cut their overall tax liability.


The UK has, for example, announced a number of back-dated agreements to secure more tax from individual firms.


Multi-national companies insist they break no rules though Apple - most notably - has faced EU demands to pay £11bn in back taxes to Ireland following a state aid ruling.




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