EU plans special tax for "legal but cynical" tax evaders like Apple, Google, Amazon

#1
Bruno Le Maire, France's minister for the economy, has revealed that a plan to levy a special tax on Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon will soon be revealed by European authorities. Le Maire told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche "A European directive will be unveiled in the coming weeks, the minister reveals, and it will mark a considerable step forward." The minister told the paper that a tax of between two and six per cent has been considered, with the proposal to be "closer to two than six." The proposed tax will be levied on the four companies' turnover, rather than profits. Taxing turnover is hoped to offer a simple way to tax the companies, as all use legal-but-cynical ways to minimize their taxable income. Le Maire added that a turnover tax is seen as being quick to implement and that the four companies know they're going to have to pay more tax in Europe, so may be amenable to such an arrangement.

The Register

"'Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes,"
 
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#2
Good, fuck them. I hope the new tax is far, FAR more punishing than any tax they'd get under normal circumstances. I don't think the EU has th balls to do it but they should.
 
#3
The power of Google and the Amazon small (medium and large ) business wrecking ball concern me. With Amazon in particular, I can understand looking for a special tax because that company must be killing other sources of taxes. But to be looking at imposing a special tax on these businesses, while simultaneously crying about tariffs, is pure, unadulterated, and staggering hypocrisy in my opinion.
 
#5
Ok so how is that legal to make tax hitting specific companies? With all the methods corporations have to transfer profits into tax heavens I think revenue based tax is good solution but hitting only some of them suggest violation of equal rights for all companies.
 
#6
The power of Google and the Amazon small (medium and large ) business wrecking ball concern me. With Amazon in particular, I can understand looking for a special tax because that company must be killing other sources of taxes. But to be looking at imposing a special tax on these businesses, while simultaneously crying about tariffs, is pure, unadulterated, and staggering hypocrisy in my opinion.
Stop politicizing things. There's longstanding back taxes, tax evasion and other things, versus tariff trade war. It's entirely not the same.

http://fortune.com/2017/09/21/google-amazon-facebook-netflix-europe-taxes/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...not-claiming-apple-tax-windfall-idUSKCN1C913I

Ok so how is that legal to make tax hitting specific companies? With all the methods corporations have to transfer profits into tax heavens I think revenue based tax is good solution but hitting only some of them suggest violation of equal rights for all companies.
Starting with the biggest, most obvious offenders.
 
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#7
Ridiculous. It is as bad as trying to tax rich people more than normal ones. No everyone should give the exact same percentage. OR maybe if they create tons of jbs they should get benefits as well. But hey EU is on its death bed anyway. So I guess they tred to get as much of it as possible in these maybe last 10 years they have left.
 
#11
Why not just change the tax code in general then? You shouldn't punish someone for following the rules that you set.
Exactly it needs to be system wide.

Also it sounds hypocritical as hell because same people strongly opposed revenue based taxes in Hungary which were targeted at supermarket chains to protect small business.
 
#12
Ridiculous. It is as bad as trying to tax rich people more than normal ones. No everyone should give the exact same percentage. OR maybe if they create tons of jbs they should get benefits as well. But hey EU is on its death bed anyway. So I guess they tred to get as much of it as possible in these maybe last 10 years they have left.
You call that ridiculous?
How about roughly 9 million people die of hunger each year while 8 people have as much wealth as half of mankind?
THAT is ridicilous!

Those companies make insane profits using public infrastructure they didnt pay a penny for!
Infrastructure that you paid for with your taxes! They have privatized gains and socialized losses far too long!
 
#13
You call that ridiculous?
How about roughly 9 million people die of hunger each year while 8 people have as much wealth as half of mankind?
THAT is ridicilous!

Those companies make insane profits using public infrastructure they didnt pay a penny for!
Infrastructure that you paid for with your taxes! They have privatized gains and socialized losses far too long!
They also hire tons of people and I am sorry but you can and NEVER will save everyone. So if this is your excuse for inequality than this is a pretty weak argument IMO. They also worked hard to get where they are now. People who lead these kind of companies have often 70-80 hour a week jobs. Its not that they lying around and waiting for their money to come by.

But now imaging they get texed much higher what would be the first thing they would do? Right they would leave. Thousands of people would lose their jobs. economy would get down etc.
 
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#14
They also hire tons of people
Is that why they replace more and more jobs with robots and software? Where do all those future people get thos jobs if there is none anymore?

and I am sorry but you can and NEVER will save everyone. So if this is your excuse for inequality than this is a pretty weak argument IMO.
You dont have to save everyone, but where is the logic of a person having more money than they can spend in their lifetime?
If Jeff Bezos only had 120 million instead of 120billion, what difference would that make in his life?

They also worked hard to get where they are now. People who lead these kind of companies have often 70-80 hour a week jobs. Its not that they lying around and waiting for their money to come by.
But now imaging they get texed much higher what would be the first thing they would do? Right they would leave. Thousands of people would lose their jobs. economy would get down etc.
Everyone works hard! Are you saying Jeff Bezos worked harder than the sewer in India that made your T-Shirt?

It doesnt even matter how hard/much you work - its all down to luck of who your parents were and where you were born:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.co...life-success-is-far-greater-than-we-realized/
 
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#15
Ridiculous. It is as bad as trying to tax rich people more than normal ones. No everyone should give the exact same percentage. OR maybe if they create tons of jbs they should get benefits as well. But hey EU is on its death bed anyway. So I guess they tred to get as much of it as possible in these maybe last 10 years they have left.
Isn't the issue that these big corporations are NOT paying the same percentage because of 'smart' shenanigans?

Also I don't see 'they hire lots of people' as a strong argument. Tbey can hire because they're rich :/ Also a job isn't the most important thing in the world.
 
#16
Is that why they replace more and more jobs with robots and software? Where do all those future people get thos jobs if there is none anymore?


You dont have to save everyone, but where is the logic of a person having more money than he can spend in his lifetime?
If Jeff Bezos only had 120 million instead of 120billion, what difference woulf that make in his life?


Everyone works hard! Are you saying Jeff Bezos worked harder than the sewer in India that made your T-Shirt?

It doesnt even matter how hard/much you work - its all down to luck of who your parents were and where you were born:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.co...life-success-is-far-greater-than-we-realized/
Jobs are not being lost. Jobs are changing. We also hat this with the industrial revolution back then. IT sucks for the current generation for sure. But the next one is getting trained to fill in these new created jobs.

And of course you also have to be lucky. But this also means you need to work hard to archive such a stand. It is luck in the begining due to an idea a concept a new market etc. and really hard work afterwards. And yes I think he worked harder. For example you just do not get such great grades at princeton by being lucky or lazy. He built this company and it is a huge amount of work and without people like him we would still live in the middle ages.
 
#17
How will peripheral regions of Europe now compete for these companies to bring jobs there rather than centralizing practically everything. Tax was always a sovereign issue and now the broke that agreement too. Sick of the EU, they care nothing for culture... It's all about their bureaucratic super state project. Europe is being destroyed.
 
#18
One more think I need to add: Germany made like 100 Billion Euro+ last year and why? Because normal people if they are single have to pay up to 50% taxes. This is some inequality the EU should fight. Even though many people are working they are under the poverty line which if you think about it is also ridiculous. So It is not these big firms that ruin people its the EU and the GOV IMO.
 
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#19
One more think I need to add: Germany made like 100 Billion Euro+ last year and why? Because normal people if they are single have to pay up to 50% taxes. This is some inequality the EU should fight. Even though many people are working they are under the poverty line which if you think about it is also ridiculous. So It is not these big firms that ruin people its the EU and the GOV IMO.
Ya'll got welfare out the ass. Working below the poverty line is treacherous in the USA, but not in Germany. You can actually live.
 
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#20
Jobs are not being lost. Jobs are changing. We also hat this with the industrial revolution back then. IT sucks for the current generation for sure. But the next one is getting trained to fill in these new created jobs.
Jobs ARE being lost - you cant be that naive to not realize that! Staff is often the most expensive aspect of running a company, why would ANY company not maximize profits by having as little staff as possible?
Currently you have Truck/Taxi drivers or people working in factories. When those jobs are gone due to AI or robots, where would all those magical new jobs come from?

One more think I need to add: Germany made like 100 Billion Euro+ last year and why? Because normal people if they are single have to pay up to 50% taxes.
Bullshit, you are spreading fake news - I am German and Single, and I pay roughly around 10% in tax - however I dont earn that much!
But even if you earn alot, it is NOT 50%, the max is currently 42% if you earn more than 54950 E/year which is around 4663 monthly before tax!

This is some inequality the EU should fight. Even though many people are working they are under the poverty line which if you think about it is also ridiculous. So It is not these big firms that ruin people its the EU and the GOV IMO.
Oh right! Of course! It is the evil EU and not those hard working companies like Amazon/Apple & Co that rip off people!

The same Apple that made hundreds of billions in profits and only paid 0.005% tax in the EU due to an illegal deal with Ireland!
http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/30/technology/apple-tax-ruling-numbers/index.html
The same Apple that parked money for a decade to not have to pay taxes in the US!
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/...n-taxes-by-keeping-money-overseas-report-says

And Amazon the hard working comany that is helping tens of thousands of non EU companies to cheat on sales tax resulting in goverments losing out 10s of billions!
https://thinkprogress.org/how-amazon-built-its-empire-on-one-tax-loophole-49732e358856/
The same Amazon that sells thousands of illegal fake brand products and doesnt give a fuck they hurt the original companies by doing that, casue profit is more important!
https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/08/amazons-chinese-counterfeit-problem-is-getting-worse.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/busi...fa7644-7086-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html

At one hand you complain about your tax rate being too high, but at the same time you defend those companies cheating the system!
Now guess who has to pay more to make up for that lost tax! Yes YOU and other taxpayers!
 
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#22
Jobs ARE being lost - you cant be that naive to not realize that! Staff is often the most expensive aspect of running a company, why would ANY company not maximize profits by having as little staff as possible?
Currently you have Truck/Taxi drivers or people working in factories. When those jobs are gone due to AI or robots, where would all those magical new jobs come from?


Bullshit, you are spreading fake news - I am German and Single, and I pay roughly around 10% in tax - however I dont earn that much!
But even if you earn alot, it is NOT 50%, the max is currently 42% if you earn more than 54950 E/year which is around 4663 monthly before tax!

Oh right! Of course! It is the evil EU and not those hard working companies like Amazon/Apple & Co that rip off people!

The same Apple that made hundreds of billions in profits and only paid 0.005% tax in the EU due to an illegal deal with Ireland!
http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/30/technology/apple-tax-ruling-numbers/index.html
The same Apple that parked money for a decade to not have to pay taxes in the US!
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/...n-taxes-by-keeping-money-overseas-report-says

And Amazon the hard working comany that is helping tens of thousands of non EU companies to cheat on sales tax resulting in goverments losing out 10s of billions!
https://thinkprogress.org/how-amazon-built-its-empire-on-one-tax-loophole-49732e358856/
The same Amazon that sells thousands of illegal fake brand products and doesnt give a fuck they hurt the original companies by doing that, casue profit is more important!
https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/08/amazons-chinese-counterfeit-problem-is-getting-worse.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/busi...fa7644-7086-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html

At one hand you complain about your tax rate being too high, but at the same time you defend those companies cheating the system!
Now guess who has to pay more to make up for that lost tax! Yes YOU and other taxpayers!
first of all there is no way you pay only 10% while being single and have a full time job. And I said up to 50 including everything even church and gez which is kind of taxes . Secondly these companies are not doing something illegal they are all in the current law.. it’s the government s fault that they can do this. So instead of changing the law for everyone they go for the rich people which again is inequality.
LOL @ 70-80 hour work weeks entitling you to not pay taxes. Thats what we call a "full time job".
If you work 70 hours a week I want to know what are you doing again we hav 40 hour laws here and companies obey to this or they are in trouble
 
#23
...while 8 people have as much wealth as half of mankind?
Of what poorest half owns, which is about 10% of all the wealth on the planet. (if oxfam didn't mess up the stats, that is)
What's notable is the change from 2016, when it was 62 richest.

One more think I need to add: Germany made like 100 Billion Euro+ last year and why? Because normal people if they are single have to pay up to 50% taxes.
Spitzensteuer is 42% and you pay it from income above, if I remember correctly, 50 or 60k, until there, it's 17%.
This is money spent on lots of goodies you, as a citizen of Germany, have. (among it, free education, low crime rate)

Regardless, how do you make the connection to Apple, who pays 0.005% (literally)?
It is fair when companies making money in country X, should pay taxes in country X, is it not?

It is fair to chase them with "special" tax, when they find ways to not pay taxes at all (basically).
 
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#24
Of what poorest half owns, which is about 10% of all the wealth on the planet. (if oxfam didn't mess up the stats, that is)
What's notable is the change from 2016, when it was 62 richest.


Spitzensteuer is 42% and you pay it from income above, if I remember correctly, 50 or 60k, until there, it's 17%.
This is money spent on lots of goodies you, as a citizen of Germany, have. (among it, free education, low crime rate)

Regardless, how do you make the connection to Apple, who pays 0.005% (literally)?
It is fair when companies making money in country X, should pay taxes in country X, is it not?

It is fair to chase them with "special" tax, when they find ways to not pay taxes at all (basically).
Meanwhile our education level gets worse and worse which also has to do with too many people not speaking our language in one class. Taxes in General are a good thing if it actually is used right. Meanwhile Germany is the last in whole Europe in terms of IT infrastructure, education. More and more people even they are working fall under the poverty line etc. Also we have 19% Mehrwert Steuer as well.

And Also what Apple and co do is not illegal. They are using the boundaries of our current laws which is their right to do so. However to tax big companies harder than small ones is not equal in my opinion. It is as bad as only taxing the rich etc. Either changing everyone the same under the same conditions or do nothing at all. Also I will say it again with higher taxes companies tend to leave. Not building new factories in Germany etc. So them leaving and thousands of people losing their jobs would be terrible.
 
#25
And Also what Apple and co do is not illegal. They are using the boundaries of our current laws which is their right to do so.
Yes. That's why those, who define what is and what is not legal, are changing legislation.
Taxes are paid not "because there are laws", laws are there, because state intents to collect them.
 
#26
The worldwide tax system is simply not fit for purpose in this day and age of tech companies and the services they provide. I don't think this is the answer though, feels like a sticking plaster and setting a precedent of taxing revenue rather than income is potentially dangerous.
 
#27
I'm not sure what the tax laws in Europe are like but we have GAAR in Canada, General Anti-Avoidance Rules to try and tap down on structuring activities for the sole purpose of avoiding tax. The big problem however was tax treaties with other nations circumventing some of this and the lack of money put in to pursue these activities since they are often complex.
 
#28
Yes. That's why those, who define what is and what is not legal, are changing legislation.
Taxes are paid not "because there are laws", laws are there, because state intents to collect them.
But these need to count for everyone and not only for the big ones. If you do it for all fine. If you only do it for the rich I think it is unfair no matter what.
 
#30
Exactly!

Small local German companies are paying corporate tax of 15%.
Apple is paying 0.005%.
But this is the fault of the gov to have these holes. So instead of taxing them higher they should fix these holes IMO. Also you also should think about Amazon not wanting to pay higher taxes and suddenly move out of the EU since it is much cheaper elsewhere. I think you should have some small benefits when you are employing so many people. Not 0.5% of course bu this is all thanks to their lawyers
 
#32
But this is the fault of the gov to have these holes. So instead of taxing them higher they should fix these holes
How is what they are doing now not fixing the holes?

Also you also should think about Amazon not wanting to pay higher taxes and suddenly move out of the EU since it is much cheaper elsewhere.
Not sure if serious.
The only way to avoid paying proposed taxes is for them to leave lucrative EU market altogether.
 
#33
But this is the fault of the gov to have these holes. So instead of taxing them higher they should fix these holes IMO. Also you also should think about Amazon not wanting to pay higher taxes and suddenly move out of the EU since it is much cheaper elsewhere. I think you should have some small benefits when you are employing so many people. Not 0.5% of course bu this is all thanks to their lawyers
I don't understand your argument, Dunki. You want everybody be treated equally. Apple, Google et al are NOT paying the same as other, smaller companies. Thid is now being fixed.

Whatbis the issue?
 
#34
I don't understand your argument, Dunki. You want everybody be treated equally. Apple, Google et al are NOT paying the same as other, smaller companies. Thid is now being fixed.

Whatbis the issue?
The issue here for me that it is only meant to get these 4 while the others can still do what they want. It is not a general fix but rather to get these 4. It is as stupid as taxing the rich people mor percentage because they are rich. ITs like blackmailing them. Pay more than anyone else under other conditions than anyoneelse or get out.

Again the EU has become fucking Mental. And honestly I hope it ends soon. It would be probably a much better life for many many people in Europe.
 
#38
There was no hole - what Apple and Ireland did was simply illegal! And they knew it was illegal but did it anyway!
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08853908.2017.1356250

Amazon would NEVER leave the EU, its far too lucrative for them. And even if they did move, other, local companies would fill that void!
Just look at China and see how their home grown stuff is taking off becasue the competiton is blocked.
Yea exactly.. I don’t know why someone would think that someone else wouldn’t step in to take over if the biggest market leader suddenly desided to back out because that poor company had to pay taxes for once..
Even with taxes it would still be profitable.. maybe not supper over the top profitable, but still profitable enough for there to be a successor.. plus I’m sure amazon already have competition from local web stores that would gladly pick up the slack..
Trickle down economics is a pipe dream, as much as communism is..
 
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#39
Good, fuck them. I hope the new tax is far, FAR more punishing than any tax they'd get under normal circumstances. I don't think the EU has th balls to do it but they should.
Good. The way these mega corporations have been playing the market needs to be stopped.

Oh yeah, all fun and games until those tax expenses get passed on to us. And it's a little naive to say "fuck em" when corporations such as theirs have provided so much to civilization. I mean Google alone has been a major boon to our society.
 
#41
The EU should move towards a more Chinese model of keeping a tight grasp on the necks of the corporations doing business in it.
For far too long have corps taken for granted the US model of letting them do whatever they want with nary but a wrist-slap in return.
 
#42
Oh yeah, all fun and games until those tax expenses get passed on to us. And it's a little naive to say "fuck em" when corporations such as theirs have provided so much to civilization. I mean Google alone has been a major boon to our society.

Even better, the higher the prices amazon has the better for small businesses that struggle because of these multinational giants that devour everything in their path. Btw Google is now cancer that not only censors and stiffles creativity but also has some pretty shady contracts with the US government.
 
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#43
Oh yeah, all fun and games until those tax expenses get passed on to us. And it's a little naive to say "fuck em" when corporations such as theirs have provided so much to civilization. I mean Google alone has been a major boon to our society.
GOOD! They'll lose marketshare to the competition. These companies earning unique advantages due to their size and power can be problematic. The law needs to keep up with modern times, and companies need to pay taxes for the betterment of society.
 
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#44
Even better, the higher the prices amazon has the better for small businesses that struggle because of these multinational giants that devour everything in their path. Btw Google is now cancer that not only censors and stiffles creativity but also has some pretty shady contracts with the US government.
GOOD! They'll lose marketshare to the competition. These companies earning unique advantages due to their size and power can be problematic. The law needs to keep up with modern times, and companies need to pay taxes for the betterment of society.
I feel like both you don't understand the importance of these massive conglomerates. When industrial leaders get so large and have immense cash-flow, that's when all the great stuff that pushes advancements in fields along start to come through.

I mean fuck, look at the damn iPhone, what about Android/google glasses, heaven forbid we somehow find out Netflix is cheating on their taxes, the hell am I going to care? They brought us Netflix and Chill for Christ-sake.

For sure it's shitty they don't pay their fair share of taxes and other businesses struggle to compete, but look at it this way. A king can get more done in a day than a senate can get done in a year.


And whether you want to admit it, these titans have paid their dues for the betterment of society.
 
#45
I feel like both you don't understand the importance of these massive conglomerates. When industrial leaders get so large and have immense cash-flow, that's when all the great stuff that pushes advancements in fields along start to come through.

I mean fuck, look at the damn iPhone, what about Android/google glasses, heaven forbid we somehow find out Netflix is cheating on their taxes, the hell am I going to care? They brought us Netflix and Chill for Christ-sake.

For sure it's shitty they don't pay their fair share of taxes and other businesses struggle to compete, but look at it this way. A king can get more done in a day than a senate can get done in a year.


And whether you want to admit it, these titans have paid their dues for the betterment of society.

Humanity doesn't need huge monopolistic conglomerates to progress, if anything these monopolies and oligopolies stifle creativity. Your argument awfully resembles the too big to fail arguments.
 
#46
Humanity doesn't need huge monopolistic conglomerates to progress, if anything these monopolies and oligopolies stifle creativity. Your argument awfully resembles the too big to fail arguments.
It's not an argument, it's a well-known and studied fact about such oligopolies - "Oligopolists may be dynamically efficient in terms of innovation and new product and process development. The super-normal profits they generate may be used to innovate, in which case the consumer may gain."

I majored in finance and economics, I see both view points, there are weaknesses and strengths to these types of titans.
 
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