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Digital tax is a long time coming in Germany

  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Tax planning and consultancy

17-04-2019

Munich Tax Partner Stefan Diemer has authored an article in financial newspaper Börsen-Zeitung, about digital tax plans in Europe.

A number of European countries have put forward national digital tax plans after EU-wide proposals failed to be agreed upon.

“The taxation of the profits of corporations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and other fast-growing technology companies is no longer perceived as being at an appropriate level,” writes Stefan.

“These companies have structured themselves in such a way that their services are available in almost every country, but the profits only accrue in countries with low taxes, such as Ireland. The current international tax law is designed for industrial companies and links the taxation of profits of cross-border companies to physical presence through offices and commercial facilities. Internet companies often lack this physical presence, allowing them to offer their services in Germany and many other countries without paying significant taxes on their profits.

“It is most likely that some EU countries will go it alone. France has announced that it may even introduce tax policy with retroactive effect to 1 January 2019 if no agreement is reached at EU level. Spain is also considering such a step. Austria has reported that it plans to introduce a VAT of 3% on online advertising from 2020. In Germany a digital tax is not to be expected in the near future.”

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