The European Union will overhaul its tax relationship with Big Tech, a leading politician has revealed. Speaking to Le Journal du Dimanche, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said that Brussels plans to tax firms’ revenue at between 2 and 6% – “but closer to two than to six” – a springboard in the region’s fight to claw more revenues from leading tech companies.
The European Commission will present its new tax regime this month, which it hopes will stop tech firms from reporting their income from any member state. That allows companies to select low-tax countries such as Ireland, Luxembourg or the Netherlands to reduce tax bills.
Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple have avoided billions in tax payments, critics say, by dumping wealth in territories like the British tax haven island of Jersey. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says such schemes cost governments worldwide an annual $240 billion.
Le Maire’s comments are likely to be met with considerable opposition from tech’s biggest companies, which have maintained their tax strategies fall within legal guidelines. While the single-digit revenue tax would simply be a “starting point”, Le Maire added that, “I would rather have a law that can be implemented quickly instead of drawn-out negotiations.”