- REUTERS/Charles Platiau
- Mark Zuckerberg is planning to say Facebook is “happy to pay more tax in Europe,” according to excerpts from a speech scheduled for Saturday seen by the Telegraph and BBC.
- European countries including Britain and France have drawn up bills for taxing the revenue big tech companies like Facebook make inside their countries.
- The planned tax laws have led to escalating tensions with the US, which says such laws unfairly target American companies.
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The BBC reported a further excerpt from Zuckerberg’s scheduled speech: “I understand that there’s frustration about how tech companies are taxed in Europe. We also want tax reform and I’m glad the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] is looking at this. We want the OECD process to succeed so that we have a stable and reliable system going forward. And we accept that may mean we have to pay more tax and pay it in different places under a new framework.”
European countries including Britain and France have drawn up plans to hit tech giants like Facebook with much higher tax bills on the revenue they generate within those countries.
Historically tech giants including Facebook have been able to minimize the tax they pay in the European Union by routing their taxes through Ireland, which has favorable tax laws.
France and the UK’s attempts to impose larger tax burdens on big tech companies has led to some political clashes, with the US saying they discriminate against American companies. President Macron agreed to hold off on implementing France’s 3% tax on big tech companies’ revenue after threats from Donald Trump that the US would impose tariffs on French goods including wine and cheese.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in December threw his weight behind a tax of 2% on UK sales due to be implemented April 2020, but in January the OECD told Britain to “hold fire” on the tax, saying there needs to be international agreement on how countries proceed with taxing tech.
Last month, Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s competition commissioner and head of digital policy, said if individual member states were blocked from introducing their own taxes on big tech the EU could step in.