France, Germany, Italy and Spain push for tax on Internet giants

Finance ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Spain are requesting the EU to create an ‘equalisation tax’, which would tax Internet companies on their turnover rather than on their profits. This would force Internet companies to pay tax where they make money, instead of where they are registered. Currently, profits are only reported where the companies’ subsidiaries are located, such as Ireland, even if the revenues are generated elsewhere. Earlier this year, French judges ruled that Google was not required to pay taxes on its revenues made in France as it lacked a ‘permanent establishment’ there. According to the letter sent by the four ministers, the EU ‘should no longer accept that these companies do business in Europe while paying minimal amounts of tax to our treasuries’.