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Wednesday, 28 April 2021 - Brussels Revised edition

Digital taxation: OECD negotiations, tax residency of digital companies and a possible European Digital Tax (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Mikuláš Peksa (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, let me begin with a simple observation: large digital companies are not paying their fair tax shares.

Let me illustrate that with this simple comparison. We have a search engine company in Czechia that is competing with Google directly. They have comparable market shares, they both benefit from Czech digital infrastructure, and they sell space for advertisements to European citizens.

Despite that, the local company’s tax bill is something like 30 times higher than the one of Google. You don’t need a degree in accounting to see that something is wrong. But it gets even worse. A quick glance at the contributions of the digital and non—digital industries paints an even bleaker picture. The effective tax rate of digital companies is only 9.5% on average, compared to 23% for the conventional firms.

This must change and this must change now. European state budgets are bleeding and European companies are losing out to tax evaders. I understand that the OECD is about to reach an agreement to tax the 100 largest multinational companies, and I fully support an approach from the Commission to plan for an EU—wide digital tax. We need an equal playing field for everyone, digital and non—digital.

 
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