Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

Europe wants the world’s financial leaders to make it their top priority this year to reach a deal on global rules for taxing digital giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook, a document showed.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s 20 biggest economies (G20) meet on Feb. 22-23 in Riyadh to discuss, among other issues, the work of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the tax rules.

“We need to give the highest priority to finding global solutions to address the taxation of the digital economy and the remaining Base Erosion and Profit Shifting issues,” said a document outlining the stance of all European Union members of the G20, plus Britain, which left the EU last month.

Story continues below advertisement

“We look forward to ambitious, fair, effective, non-discriminatory and workable global solutions and will redouble our efforts towards a consensus-based solution to deliver this global goal in 2020.”

Europe has long pushed to make hugely profitable large tech companies doing business over the Internet pay tax where they sell their services, rather than in tax havens deliberately chosen under what is called “aggressive tax optimization.”

EU politicians, seeking funds to prevent climate change and diminish wealth differences across the 27-nation bloc, are angry that a company like Google, with an annual revenue of more than $160 billion, has been enjoying an effective tax rate in the single digits on its non-U.S. profits – around a quarter of the average tax rate in its overseas markets.

Frustrated with the lack of global progress because of opposition from the United States where the tech giants are based, some countries like France introduced their own digital tax last year. Such moves triggered threats of retaliation via trade tariffs from Washington.

Italy, Britain and Spain have also either already introduced their own digital taxes or plan to do so.

Bowing to the rising pressure, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will accept in a speech on Saturday that global tax reforms would mean his company may have to pay more taxes in different countries, Politico reported.

The OECD wants to reach a deal on the technicalities of how much and where to tax big digital firms by early July and have a full accord in place by the end of 2020, so as to avoid an escalation of trade tensions over the issue.

Story continues below advertisement

The EU has said that if there is no deal at the G20 level, its 27 countries would come up with digital tax system of their own.

Related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies