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Parliamentary questions
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17 September 2019
Question for written answer E-002832-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Leszek Miller (S&D)

 Subject:  Establishing a fair digital tax at EU level
 Answer in writing 

One important aspect of the functioning of the Digital Single Market in the EU is the need to establish an effective tax policy for those who benefit from it. At present, there are many digital companies that generate significant revenues in the Member States and do not pay any tax because they are established outside the Union.

Last year, the Commission presented a package containing proposals for two Council directives aimed at establishing a tax on revenues from the provision of certain digital services and on corporate taxation of companies with a significant presence in the digital market. Legislative work in the Council has shown, however, that achieving unanimity among the Member States, as required by the Treaty, is practically impossible, which is reflected in the fact that taxation of digital services is limited solely to advertising revenues and that there is no agreement on the taxation of digital companies.

That is why I was pleased to hear the President of the Commission say that one of the Commission’s political priorities after 2020 will be to establish a fair digital tax at EU level.

1. However, how does the Commission intend to establish EU-wide tax rules when the Council, i.e. the Member States, has exclusive competence?

2. Does the Commission envisage using a bridging clause to derogate from the unanimity rule in the Council?

3. In the Commission’s view, is it possible to reach a consensus on this matter in the European Council and in all the national parliaments?

Original language of question: PL 
Last updated: 8 October 2019Legal notice