European Commission wants level playing field, with online multinationals accused of paying too little tax
Tapping more revenues from big online companies, such as Amazon and Facebook, is the thrust of an EU drive – as multinationals stand accused of paying too little tax in Europe, by routing most of their profits to low-rate countries such as Luxembourg.
The European Commission wants a fairer playing field, but there are differing views and scepticism in the bloc.
“It would be much better to have a joint European approach to this issue, how to effectively tax the digitailsed economy, so that we don’t have a patchwork of unilateral member state solutions, which undermine the integrity of the single market,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Vice-President.
Brick-and-mortar firms are said to pay more than twice the taxes of their digital competitors.
The Commission wants to seal a compromise on the global stage, to see off concerns the EU will be less competitive if it does its own thing.
“It’s important that the EU reaches a consensus on the way forward befoee we start exploring other avenues like enhanced cooperation,” added Dombrovskis.
To get the ball rolling, short-term solutions could be brought in – including an “equalisation” tax on turnover – proposed by France and backed by 10 EU countries.