The EU could make Big Tech pay tax on its turnover

Big internet companies facing 3% levy on turnover if Commission proposals approved

Big internet companies facing 3% levy on turnover if Commission proposals approved

"The proposed turnover tax aimed at online platforms is discriminatory and ignores the global consensus that the so-called "digital economy" should not be singled out", said Christian Borggreen of the Computer & Communications Industry Association.

Ireland - which is in a dispute with the European Commission over its tax treatment for Apple - quickly voiced opposition to the new plans Wednesday.

With this rare tax move, Brussels is upping the ante in its longstanding battles with Silicon Valley and Washington. But tax reforms also need the backing of all 28 member states to become law. "But of course, the EU also continues its preparations to defend ourselves in case measures apply to the EU", European Commission sources told Agricensus.

According to the Commission, the existing tax rules are now outdated with the emergence of the digital economy, which allows firms to operate across the globe without having a physical presence in many countries.

While some smaller European Union states such as Ireland and Luxembourg fear the proposed tax would undermine their ability to attract multinationals to base themselves in their jurisdictions, others see the measure as more likely to shift taxes toward bigger countries in the bloc rather than raising more revenue in Europe overall.

In this rule, a company would be eligible to be taxes if it had more than 100,000 users, and earns more than 7 million euros annually, or over 3,000 "business contracts for digital services" inside the country. The proposed tax is likely to have only a minimal impact as the company already posts revenues and pay taxes in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Britain where it has dedicated country websites since 2015. The Frenchman did not name any companies. It's less certain whether a company like Netflix would be hit.

Moscovici said this isn't the case, stressing that the proposal is created to apply to digital firms from all over the world.

'Serial bomber' on the loose in Austin, Texas
Hours after the bombing Manley said it is "very possible" the device in Sunday night's explosion was triggered by a tripwire . Authorities maintain a cordon near the site of an incident reported as an explosion in southwest Austin , Texas , U.S.

The commission rejected claims that the plan was targeting USA companies. That means the big fish: Facebook, Twitter, and Google, among others. Officials added that the Commission opted to pursue this technique, as "there is legally no other way to do it". "But it also requires adjustments to our traditional rules and systems".

It has drawn up a double-layered plan to reform rules on taxing digital firms where they make sales - regardless of where their physical presence is.

Trade lobbyists were not pleased by the new proposal. That condition could prove challenging for the short-term tax on revenues.

The interim measure would impose a 3 percent tax on revenue generated from the digital activities of companies meeting the 750 million euro threshold.

George Turner, a researcher at the United Kingdom -based Tax Justice Network, says the proposed tax reforms get at a major problem about how business is done in the 21st century.

The American technology industry, which has kept a wary eye on tax developments in Europe, criticized the new proposal.

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