VIENNA, Austria: German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said Tuesday he was “quite confident” that a blueprint for taxing digital giants could be agreed on an international level later this year.
In January, 137 countries agreed to negotiate a deal on how to tax tech multinationals by the end of 2020 under the auspices of the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
However, talks to come up with a new global tax system at the OECD have faced opposition by the US.
Scholz said Germany, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, was pushing for an agreement on the digital tax, as well as a minimum tax in the next few months.
“At the moment I’m quite confident that we can internationally agree on a blueprint for both these issues,” he told reporters after an annual meeting with his counterparts from other German-speaking European countries.
Big EU countries say the so-called GAFA — Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon — are unfairly exploiting tax rules that let them declare profits in low-tax havens, depriving governments of a fair share of their earnings.
France, Britain, Spain, Italy and others have imposed taxes on the largest digital companies.
US officials have slammed these moves as discriminating against American firms, and say any new levies should come only as part of a broader overhaul of international tax rules. – AFP