G20

Europeans press for digital tax at G20 meeting

MNA Business Desk: European finance leaders called for progress on global rules to tax the digital economy at a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Argentina on Sunday, putting them at odds with US counterparts.

The final communique reaffirmed a commitment to address the impacts of the shift to a digital economy on the international tax system by 2020, without giving more details.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, proposed rules earlier this year to make digital companies pay more tax, with US tech giants such as Alphabet’s Google, Facebook and Amazon set to foot a large chunk of any bill.

Some 200 companies would fall within the scope of the new tax, European officials said at the time, estimating additional annual revenues of about 5 billion euros ($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.

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

However, some EU members have voiced concerns their companies could be affected by such a tax and international partners may respond with retaliatory measures, reported news agency.

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