March 5, 2018 // 10:36 a.m.
The European Union is poised to introduce new legislation which would apply a tax to all technology companies operating within the Union, with the French finance minister suggesting it would sit around the two percent mark.
Following years of tax-dodging - typically by setting up 'headquarters' in a region with as low a rate as tax as possible then funnelling all revenue through said headquarters regardless of the country of origin - the European Union telegraphed a crackdown in September last year in a document signed by finance ministers Bruno Le Maire, Wolfgang Schäuble, Pier-Carlo Padoan, and Luis De Guindos. Now, Le Maire is suggesting that legislation on the matter is just around the corner.
In a recent interview with Le Journal du Dimanche Le Maire stated that the European Union is close to announcing legislation which would impose an additional tax of between two and six percent - mostly likely closer to the bottom end of said scale, however - on all technology companies operating in the region. Le Maire explained the relatively small level of taxation - far below that of the corporation tax dodged by the technology companies - as being preferable as 'a tax which can be applied very quickly, rather than endless negotiation [over a higher level]'.
The news comes as Apple and the government of Ireland continue to argue against a €13 billion tax bill the EU has levied on the company's operations in the region.