One third of EU States support plan to hike tax on U.S. multinationals: Le Maire

The European Union’s effort to increase tax on turnover of technology multinationals like Google and Amazon gained momentum as nearly one third of EU states are now in support of the plan, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday.

Pushing EU authorities to urgently address the issue, Le Maire accused Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon of escaping their reasonable share of taxes in Europe.

Many European countries have long been arguing that the American digital companies escape paying a fair tax by basing their operations in lower-tax European states like Ireland and Luxembourg.

Speaking on the topic, Le Maire said, “We need to make sure in Europe that all companies are paying their fair share of tax that is the meaning of our initiative … huge companies, huge internet companies are not paying a fair contribution to Europe.”

Supporting the plan, EU taxation commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the digital economy should also be taxed like the rest of the economy.

Google and Facebook, which have based their EU operations in Ireland, paid taxes not higher than 0.8 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively, of their European revenues between 2013 and 2015. Luxembourg-headquartered Amazon paid no tax at all as it reported no profits.