According to an announcement from Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the country will be introducing its own tax on tech giants like Apple, Facebook, and Google. We currently do not know the details of how the tax will be on these companies, but we expect to see a basic outline of it in sometime early January. This tax will be part of a broader tax reforms that takes effect in 2020.
Kruz said that this is “in addition to a EU-wide move.” This doesn’t come as a surprise because France is another country that previously announced it was pushing for its own tax starting January 1st.
In defense of tech companies, they have argued that they are already paying their fair share of taxes and following all taxation rules and regulations. Mind you, these types of companies report their EU income through countries that have a lower tax rate, such as Ireland, that provide them a safe place and protection from heavy taxation and rely on loopholes to pay the least amount of tax.
While such routes are legal, this has caused a lot of issues. Companies are paying far less, on average, than other businesses, such as paying 9 percent tax compared to 23 percent that other businesses are paying in the same region. Because of this divide, both businesses and residents haven’t been too happy that such companies have been getting away with it.
Both France’s and Austria’s moves to suggests that they are starting to take matters into their own hands. They are not willing to wait for the wider EU solution to take place and want something solid as soon as possible.