Including Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon to face Austrian taxes
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz said on Saturday that his country would impose taxes on Internet giants and digital technology in the world, after France announced the work of similar taxes are also talks for adoption at the level of the European Union.
In France, the tax will come into force on January 1 and will apply to the “Java” group (Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon) without waiting for the rest of its European partners.
In a statement, Kurtz stressed that “it is just right that the world’s leading digital operators pay their share of taxes, and in addition to working at the EU level, we are moving at the national level.”
“We will impose the digital tax in Austria,” he said, adding that EU member states agreed “in principle that the tax should be adopted.”
“The goal is clear: to impose a tax on companies that generate huge revenues and practically do not pay any tax, like Facebook and Amazon,” Kurtz said.
According to Kurtz, Finance Minister Hartwig Luger will disclose the “details and method” of the tax at the beginning of January.
The new tax will come into force as part of the government’s fiscal reforms for 2020.
French taxes will include advertising revenue, sales of personal data and sales of sites belonging to the four giant groups, not just sales figures.
At the European level, US companies will be required to declare their European revenues in any member country and pay in low-tax countries such as Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Internet companies now pay 9 percent of their revenue as a tax, compared with 23 percent paid by other companies, according to European Commissioner for Competition, Margaret Vestager.
The adoption of a uniform law on “dry” taxes at the European level requires the consensus of EU member states, which is currently rejected by Ireland, Denmark and Sweden, and reservations from Germany.