Friday 21 September 2018

Europe's digital tax proposals look like a tax grab by the bigger states

EU's bid to make the big technology giants pay more tax under new proposals could backfire, warns Brian Hayes

HANDS OFF: Many hi-tech firms maintain regional corporate
HQs in Ireland, so an EU digital tax is very much our concern. Photo: © 2010 Bloomberg Finance LP
HANDS OFF: Many hi-tech firms maintain regional corporate HQs in Ireland, so an EU digital tax is very much our concern. Photo: © 2010 Bloomberg Finance LP

Brian Hayes

There can be no doubt that when it comes to corporate tax and Brussels, the default response from Ireland is, more often than not, 'hands off'. But when it comes to the new digital tax proposal, published last Wednesday by the European Commission, we need to box clever.

The way that European Commissioner for Taxation Pierre Moscovici has run with this initiative has been a botched job, to say the least. It has been more about personal political gain than substance.

However, a digital tax - if designed right and done at a global level - is something Ireland can fully get behind. I think that there is a genuine effort in some parts of the commission to get this right and we need to recognise that.

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