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Parliamentary questions
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7 November 2019
Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003011/2019

Companies engaged in digital activities, like all other companies, have to pay their fair share of tax where value is created. In March 2018, the Commission put forward two proposals(1) to ensure that digital businesses are taxed in a fair and growth-friendly way.

The proposals did not receive the required unanimity in Council but they have spurred international discussions and helped to drive them forward. Intense discussions are underway at international level (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), G20) in order to realign taxation with value creation and tackle excessive tax competition.

In particular, on 9 October 2019, the OECD tabled a proposal(2) for a ‘unified approach’ to address the issues arising from the digitalisation of the economy. This proposal is a useful step towards a pragmatic solution to problems linked to how countries share the profits of multinationals.

There is now real momentum to reach a solution. The Commission closely follows the OECD work, in full cooperation with its global partners, with a view to get an agreement in 2020. If successful, it will be for the next Commission, once it takes office, to decide on how to implement this global solution into the EU.

The reform of the international corporate tax system has been identified as one of the main priorities for the next Commission by President-elect von der Leyen, who also stressed that the EU should act alone in the absence of a global solution.

(1)These proposals are: 1) Proposal for a COUNCIL DIRECTIVE on the common system of a digital services tax on revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services COM/2018/0148 final — 2018/073 (CNS);2) Proposal for a COUNCIL DIRECTIVE laying down rules relating to the corporate taxation of a significant digital presence COM/2018/0147 final — 2018/072 (CNS).
(2)Public consultation document OECD Secretariat Proposal for a ‘Unified Approach’ under Pillar One.

Last updated: 7 November 2019Legal notice