Business Technology

Monday 16 September 2019

Ireland backed by Sweden and Denmark on digital tax

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Mark Condren
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Mark Condren

William Horobin, Lorenzo Totaro and Patrick Donahue

Ireland’s opposition to the mooted tax on tech giants revenue was backed up by Denmark and Sweden at a meeting of EU finance ministers today.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe – and his Swedish and Danish counterparts – said they couldn’t back the tax in its current form.

Other countries, including Italy, said they would pursue their own plans in the area, mirroring UK Chancellor Philip Hammond’s plan to introduce a UK version of the tax.

France is pushing the plan strongly, with its finance minister Bruno Le Maire trying to put a positive spin on the discussions today.

“The debate shows that we’re moving in the right direction,” Mr Le Maire said during the discussion on Tuesday. “It just remains for me to offer Paschal a beer in a Dublin pub, and then I think we’ll be able to move toward a decision,” he said, referring to Mr  Donohoe.

The plan on the table would impose a 3pc levy on the European sales of the likes of Amazon and Facebook.

Revenue in Ireland has estimated the plan could cost the Irish exchequer as much as €160m a year, as companies would be able to write off the digital tax against corporation tax paid here.


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