Paris wants US corporations to pay fair share of taxes in EU
France wants Brussels to take a tougher stance on American multinationals working inside the European Union (EU) and force them to pay an appropriate amount of tax.
“I can tell you that the times we live in are not for the weak,” French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire said in a conference in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence.
“Since we have to deal with Mr. Putin, Mr. Trump or Mr. Erdogan, it’s time for Europe to pull itself together and defend its own interests, to make Google, Amazon and Facebook pay the taxes they owe in Europe,” he added, as quoted by Reuters.
In a recent effort to crack down on aggressive tax avoidance practices, Brussels has introduced a new set of rules to be implemented by 2019. The measure aims to close all the tax regulation loopholes big businesses are currently abusing.
The step followed a series of high-profile tax scandals in Europe.
Last August, the European Commission (EC) ruled that Apple owed Ireland €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes covering a 10-year period.
In October 2015, the EC discovered Starbucks had received illegal tax advantages from the Dutch government. Brussels ordered the Netherlands to collect about €30 million in back taxes from the company.
In December, the regulator accused one of the McDonald’s units of not paying tax in Luxembourg since 2009 despite large profits there. The fast food giant said it would move its non-US tax base from Luxembourg to Britain due to the increased scrutiny over its tax arrangements.
Alphabet’s Google reportedly managed to save $3.6 billion in 2015 by shifting its profits to a Bermuda shell company, using Ireland and the Netherlands as intermediaries.
Last June, the EU Council adopted the so-called Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive which sets out EU-wide anti-abuse measures against tax avoidance.