Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has announced that it will introduce its own tax on Apple, Facebook, Google and other companies allegedly dodging their fair share. Most details aren’t available at this stage, but you’ll get a basic outline in early January. It would take effect as part of broader tax reforms in 2020.
This is “in addition to a EU-wide move,” according to Kurz. France is pushing its own approach starting January 1st.
The companies in question have previously argued that they’re already paying their fair share. They typically report their EU income in a country with lower taxes, such as Ireland, and rely on loopholes to minimize their financial impact. While that’s legal, it also leaves them paying far less on average than other businesses — roughly 9 percent versus the 23 percent of other firms operating in the region. Both officials and residents haven’t been happy with that gap, and Austria’s move suggests that fewer and fewer EU countries are willing to wait for a continent-wide solution.