EU’s Margrethe Vestager says Europe must lead the way with a digital taxes

“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.”

Read more in the full article here.

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


    1. Taxes pay for what you use at some point in your lifetime, even if you don’t want to admit it today. If you don’t want to pay any taxes, then by all means relocate to a nation with no infrastructure, no “socialist” education, libraries, police, military, courts, etc. Tell us how you like it.

      Clearly Americans are being brainwashed into thinking that Corporatocracy is a good thing — that is hidden taxes with zero representation.

  1. The problem is, I’m sure a lot of the European countries want this tax on top of whatever else they have as taxes.
    Margaret Thatcher said “The only problem with Socialism is that eventually, you run out of other people’s money to spend”

    1. The EU should ask why all the big tech companies named are USA and not EU.

      the EU has 500 million people and USA 300 million yet all the innovation seems to come from USA.

      there can only be two possible reasons:
      1) their system does not support innovation or enterprise
      2) their people are more stupid

      so EU which is it?

        1. Picking Germany is liking picking Cupertino or Austin.

          the EU is way bigger than Germany.
          Spain Greece has 15% unemployment. (which is actually an improvement from 25% after bailout)
          , Portugal, Italy and
          a host of East European countries aren’t doing that great either.

          Britain wants OUT.

          ….. etc.

          1. hmmmm. when reporting GDP, should the USA throw out laggard red states like Wyoming, Mississippi, the Dakotas, and Alabama? Wonder what the actual unemployment rate is outside the coastal job centers too. It’s not 0% especially when you consider the millions who took early retirement in the wake of the Bush implosion. but it depends on how you count ‘em, that’s what people have been saying since 2009.

            the UK is slashing its own throat wanting cheap imported products and services but without following open border policies that EU and US states do. open borders are a primary reason the US is such a prosperous trading bloc. walls stunt growth, no two ways about it.

            the EU has a range of performance just like the US. what is indisputable however is that Europeans have much greater average outcomes in health, happiness, education, and security. maybe Americans could learn a thing or two from the Germans, especially if they are above average compared to both Europe and the US.

            also, will the US have low unemployment next year when the Trump isolationism starts to really kick in? he isn’t delivering the dynamic world beating growth he promised. if the EU is so terrible, why isn’t the US dollar worth more than the Euro?

      1. Nomoremsbs and others: Taxes pay for the maintenance of the civilization you take for granted. Well maintained nations with healthy happy people, in general, have somewhat higher personal taxation. America will decline if it continues to underfund its maintenance. The elite 1% will of course make all kinds of money with their Chinese deals to keep the statistics looking pretty, but the sad reality is that decades of bad governance and poor reinvestment of paltry taxation is hollowing out the middle class. When you pay more, you get more. Isn’t that what Apple fans have been saying for decades?

        Next: can the hubris. The USA has impressive tech, but it’s going off the rails. Hideous monsters like Facebook and Google are what the USA has created. These privacy destroyers dominate disinformation flows and enable the laundering of foreign political capital to undermine the republic. Investment banks like Goldman Sachs gamble with public-backed money, predatory lenders like BA/Countrywide destroyed trillions in consumers’ wealth — only to pocket the profits of their malfeasance with impunity. Do these things happen in Europe? Not often. They have consumer protection agencies with teeth. The EU forced MS to pay for its malfeasance and Apple fans all cheered. Now as Apple, Google, FB, Amazon and other gorillas want to exploit consumers to line their Cayman Islands cash hordes, why are consumers upset that someone is officiating their games?

        And now we get to the intentional myopia. Only America has big successful companies. That is such a stupid opinion, you should be embarrassed. I assume like most you narrowly define the term “technology”. Nevertheless, there’s a lot going on outside the USA. Perhaps you many have heard of Spotify? Skype (pre-MS)? Siemens? Philips? Bosch? Mercedes-Benz? Porsche? Airbus? Criteo? Shazam? BASF? Vodaphone? Glencore? Orange? Saint-Gobain? All leaders in their segments. That’s not even counting the world-leading European companies in oil, finance, food, and retail that you probably don’t consider techy enough.

        The postwar gravy days are waning folks. The baby boomers enjoyed a great run, but the debt they handed their grandchildren will cripple them for years to come. Taxes will have to rise in the USA to pay for it. The USA is not the center of the universe. It also isn’t the land of low taxation, and it won’t be going forward. The USA to this day forces double taxation on people who earn income abroad and it has the one of the most inefficient personal tax codes imaginable. The USA in fact was known, thanks to its high quality infrastructure and education systems, to have higher corporate tax rates than most other large countries. Of course in Dec 2017 your orange hero signed into law a debt-ballooning bill that presumably creates roughly global corporate tax parity and a few kickbacks for campaign donors. How many large companies have announced they want to relocate to the USA? How many factories expanded in the USA? Including Wisconsin style corporate welfare.

        Once again, MDN flashes the red meat in order to get the peanut gallery to chant “socialism is evil”. Problem is, there is no country that is purely socialist nor pure capitalist. In the three biggest markets (European Union, USA, China), corporations dominate. They hold the vast majority of liquid assets, so they call all the political shots. When you look at the details, tax rates are all over the board, and basically are just a time shifting game. The real question is whether a citizen has a voice in his government. In Europe and in the USA, the answer is increasingly no. In China, the people have no voice whatsoever. That doesn’t seem to stop US corporations like Apple for rewarding China for its economic and political abuses. But we digress…

      2. Wuaaa?? You do realise that most of the USA’s innovation is acquired from around the world?

        The TV, Telephone, Microchip, and even ARM is all from the EU??? Apple acquire companies from EU, Russia, Israel to name a few. Are you honestly that ignorant?

      1. Dumbleding, the great socialist progressive whose only input to society is lousy art. Taxpayer funded too. Go home Dingler, you’re a waste of canvas

  2. Money grab.

    Extortion and confiscation of someone else’s productivity.

    These companies are being subjected to a bait & switch. They thought they would be doing business with honorable people that wouldn’t change ‘the rules’ once substantial investments in those countries were made. Oh well…

    1. Do the rules on American taxes not change from budget to budget?

      The Americans are some of the worst for pulling the rug from underneath foreign companies – with huge regulatory fines levied on European firms, as forms of barely disguised protectionism.

  3. National taxes help pay for the corporation’s expectation for Socialist entitlements like roads, transportation safety, highways, police, and fire, etc., you know, stuff used in a collective and communal way. They also pay for veterans’ benefits, interest, military, and disaster recovery.

    1. Taxes collected in the trillions long ago paid for this things. I certainly get more from private corporations than I do from any government. I’m sure roads maintained by corporations will not only meet, but exceed the quality of what the government builds.

      1. @ Thelonious: no, you don’t. You choose to discount all the things that nonprofits and governments provide for you while overhyping the latest consumer fashions that corporations market to you nonstop.

        It’s not even possible to for you to cover Maslow’s list in the manner you are accustomed without the infrastructure that we all must pay to maintain. No corporation is going to do that, it’s not profitable enough for them. They offload all their externalities onto governments and then try to convince you that government bureaucracy isn’t as efficient as corporate bureaucracy. Both are bureaucratic messes, but get it through your head that corporations only want to bleed you of every dime you have, all managed by unelected princes lining their own pockets. Governments have publicly published budgets so you can see where the money really goes. Your ilk never bothers to point to specific reforms you want to see made, nor does your party pass bills to do so. Instead you whine, fed incessantly by outrageous corporate media. Of course the corporations are perfect, they tell you this every day.

      2. I can agree with you on the inefficiencies of government. Governments are burdened by democracy and citizen accountability.

        Corporations are accountable to their shareholders, not the public, not the citizenry.

        The lesser evil is government.

        We didn’t start the fire…

    2. Taxes pay for Civilization the US, Canada, Japan, Korea, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, are the only places that have a good environment….to make it.

          1. Airing your own mental impairments?

            Well on the subject of taxes, we currently have an administration that also believes that they should go through life without paying for anything they use from the Public Good.

            For the first time since Cook Nixon, a sitting US president has refused to submit his tax returns. Even “Lock her up” Clinton released hers, and the rabid righties could’t find anything illegal or immoral in them. They did show of course what a profitable gig it is to be on the political speaking circuit and to sell books.

            You would think Trump would be proud of how much money he has made from his shadow-authored books, his world class airline, and his renowned university. After spending two years whining about everyone asking him questions about what foreign officials he does business with, the horrible witch hunt that gound almost 3 dozen witches, …. WHY NOT END THE ORDEAL BY RELEASING PROOF THAT YOUR ARE INNOCENT OF FINANCIAL MISDEALINGS? The trumpanzees can’t offer anything. What are the real reasons Lyin’ Trump won’t honor his campaign pledge? It’s most likely all of these:

            1) Trump’s not as rich as he says
            2) He has Russia ties
            3) He didn’t pay many (or any) taxes
            4) He donates no (or very little) money to charity


            And now he’s willing to again obstruct justice to prevent the truth from coming out. Wow.

    1. Sounds like basic American behavior. Use your power to change things at the voting office and, more importantly, write your representative to call out corruption and recommend specific reforms.

      Hint: posting your incessant hatred of taxation on MDN isn’t likely to get a response from your legislators.

      1. So true. Everybody wants to feed their gluttonous consumer lifestyle with massive debt, then they whine when the idiot representatives they send to D.C. do exactly the same thing.

        In the end, somebody has to pay for what you use. Unless you have a team of accountants and several international shell companies like Apple does, the person holding the bag will be either you or your children. If you don’t like that, then why aren’t you advocating to go after the billionaire class who pay practically no taxes??????

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