Tech giants will have to pay full tax in countries where they operate

Tech giants will have to pay full tax in countries where they operate, by Robert Gottliebsen.

The French were enraged that Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple pay (in the words of French finance minister Bruno Le Maire) less tax than a cheese producer in Quercy.

These companies have large French turnovers and taxing them was a yellow shirt demand which the government has responded with a 3 per cent tax on the turnover of the giants. …

Not surprisingly the US is threatening yet more trade sanctions (it’s an overused weapon) but the UK has in the pipeline a two per cent turnover tax and many other European countries plus New Zealand are looking at similar plans.

No-one can afford to have such a huge part of their economy untaxed.

Given what is happening globally, Australia does not have to move to the front line. But like most other non-US countries we are struggling to get the giants to pay tax so if the French move gains momentum and the Australian Taxation Office’s legitimate efforts to change the game are unsuccessful, then we may follow with a turnover tax.

Turnover taxes are grossly unfair to companies that do not make profits. But the US tech giants ship their local profits to low-tax havens, often by paying vast sums for their proprietary knowledge.