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Debates
Wednesday, 12 December 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Common system of a digital services tax on revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services - Corporate taxation of a significant digital presence (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Petr Ježek, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, we can see that digital companies can easily be taxed where they want, regardless of where the value and profits are created. The current tax framework does not match the developing business models in this era. We must, therefore, change the current system and make taxation fairer. There were two proposals on digital taxation, which were overwhelmingly supported by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs last Monday.

The first proposal for a digital service tax, which is meant as an interim measure, will ensure that the revenues generated by user activity on certain digital services are taxed in a fair, efficient and transparent way before a comprehensive solution can be reached. The second proposal offers the comprehensive solution to reform corporate tax rules, so that profits are registered and taxed where businesses have significant interaction with users through digital channels.

It is, therefore, hard to believe that the Council was unable to reach an agreement and has been watering down the proposals, including the scope, and has postponed the decision. The Council Presidency spectacularly failed. We can also see that it is mainly those Member States who benefit from profit-shifting schemes which are the ones who are against these proposals.

In this area the European Union is clearly paralysed and will regret it dearly. As the European Parliament, it’s crucial that we send a strong message to the Council and to all European citizens that we care about fair taxation. Fair taxation is one of the ways through which we can broaden the benefits of globalisation by reducing its negative impact.

 
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