“Europe needs to decide on a digital tax and should lead the way if there is insufficient consensus globally, the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, said on Monday,” Richard Lough reports for Reuters. “There is still disagreement among EU members over how to implement a so-called ‘GAFA tax’ – named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – to ensure the global internet giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.”
“France has been driving hard for such a tax, but at a meeting of EU finance meetings over the weekend, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Denmark blocked a draft EU-wide GAFA tax proposal, officials said,” Lough reports. “‘We are becoming an increasingly digital world and it will be a huge problem if we do not find a way to raise (digital) taxes,’ Vestager told France Inter radio.”
“‘The best thing is a global solution. But if we want to obtain results in a reasonable period of time, Europe must take the lead,’ the commissioner added,” Lough reports. “Vestager, a former Danish economy minister, has a high profile in Brussels for attacking tax avoidance and monopoly powers among U.S. multinationals, and is seen as a contender to be the next Commission president.”
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MacDailyNews Take: A global solution? It sounds like a brave new world. Hey, someone pass the soma!
As per the EU itself, the smart approach for Apple et al. is to lobby for harmonized EU taxation over a state-by-state patchwork of taxes, as that will at least offer simplicity, stability, and predictability.
Apple, other tech giants, see the specter of future taxes in France – March 4, 2019
Apple agrees to pay back-dated taxes to France – February 5, 2019