Today the Socialists and Democrats led a broad coalition in the plenary to include digital provider companies such as Netflix or iTunes (Apple) in the digital services tax (DST). The S&Ds lamented the rejection by the conservatives and the liberals of a proposal to increase the tax rate on digital services provided by tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Booking or Amazon from 3% to 5%. They also reiterated their call for putting an end to the unanimity rule on tax.
S&D MEP Paul Tang, Parliament’s rapporteur on the Digital Services Tax (DST), said:
“It is time to be bold and ambitious on digital tax. This is why today we proposed a higher tax rate, to move from 3% to 5% tax on turnover. Digital multinationals such as Google, Facebook and Amazon must pay their fair share of taxes, as all ordinary citizens and small firms do.
"EPP’s, ALDE’s and ECR’s vote clearly show who they stand by. They prioritise the big tech giants, that pay close to zero taxes, over citizens.
“The call for tax justice in Europe is stronger than ever. Our citizens demand it, our economies need it. More than 725,000 citizens have signed the Avaaz petition calling for tax justice and more than 80% of the German, French, Austrian, Dutch, Danish and Swedish citizens support the tax for tech giants.”
S&D Group spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs, Pervenche Berès MEP, said:
“EU finance ministers’ failed to achieve an agreement on the digital tax last week, but tax justice cannot wait until EU finance ministers decide to stop dragging their feet or protect the interests of EU tax havens.
“A 5% tax is the right step forward until an international solution is found. A common tax base for corporate taxation and a minimum effective taxation of companies across the EU are the ultimate solution.
“EU tax reforms will remain a concern until we get rid of unanimity requirement from all EU Finance Ministers to make the urgent needed progress. We call on other EU institutions to change this outdated unanimity rule on tax and allow real change to happen.”