April 23, 2021

The EC sees "difficult" the unanimity in December on the digital rate

The EC sees "difficult" the unanimity in December on the digital rate



The European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, acknowledged today that it will be "difficult" for the European Union (EU) economy ministers to achieve the necessary unanimity at their December meeting to approve a tax on digital companies.

"In the case of December, a consensus will be difficult, but it is not impossible, so we keep pushing in that direction," he said during an intervention in the special commission of the European Parliament on Financial Crimes and Tax Evasion and Avoidance.

Moscovici stressed that he does not "discover anything new" when he says that there is still no agreement among the member states on the digital tax, but stressed that "support for the proposal has increased considerably" and was willing to continue working to ensure that the countries "overcome their reluctance before the end of the year".

For months, the countries of the EU have been debating a 3% tax on billing for certain digital services of Internet companies that bill more than 750 million euros worldwide and more than 50 million in the EU, which it would be applied temporarily until a global solution is achieved.

In this way, it seeks to alleviate the disparity between digital platforms (9.5%) and traditional companies (23.2%) when paying corporate taxes.

France is the main supporter of approving the measure in the next meeting of finance ministers of the Twenty-eight, to be held on December 4 in Brussels, while partners such as Ireland and Sweden keep their reserves.

As it is a matter of taxation, the unanimity of all the Member States is necessary for the proposal to become law.

This Tuesday, Moscovici affirmed that at the beginning of next year he will propose to use the qualified majority in fiscal matter and abandon the unanimity requirement, as he had already anticipated in his speech on the state of the Union in September 2017 the president of the EC, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The commissioner said that the digital tax is not "against" American companies and that if an agreement is not obtained in the EU, national remedies will arise in the Member States.

In a subsequent act in the same parliamentary commission, the head of the economic policy of Google in Europe and other parts of the world, Adam Cohen, expressed the preference of his company for a "simpler and more coherent international tax system".

Facebook's director of global fiscal policy, Alan Lee, said that in his company they are supporters of "simple to administer" taxes for companies and that they provide "long-term certainty and stability" for business.

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