How much big tech companies earn and how much taxes pay in each country in Europe: the EU will force them to make it public
Large multinationals that have annual revenues of more than 750 million euros and carry out business activities in the European Union they will have to make public their benefits and the taxes they pay in each Member State. This would include tech giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft or Netflix, among others.
Though it is not yet an official measure, a score of member countries, including Spain, have agreed to carry out this initiative in an informal video conference of the European Council in which the Ministers of Internal Market and Industry of the European Union participated this Thursday. Now, these states will have to formally announce their intention to promote the regulation and take it to the European Parliament to start working on it.
The majority of the Ministers of Internal Market and Industry of the European Union were in favor of the initiative and asked the Presidency of the Council of the EU, currently held by Portugal, to lead the negotiation without delay with the aim of “ explore, together with the European Parliament, the possibilities of reaching an agreement to the rapid adoption of this directive”.
The initiative has not been official because the meeting of the ministers has been remote, which means that, by regulations, legally binding decisions cannot be taken, for which the physical presence of the representatives of the States is necessary. It will be the ambassadors of the member countries who will have to officially approve it in the coming days, according to informa Europa Press.
A bumpy road
The agreement reached this Thursday is based on a European Commission proposal of 2016, in which it was proposed that multinationals that exceed 750 million in annual revenues would have to publish a report for each year with the fees they paid in each Member State, according to the newspaper Five days.
On that occasion, and on other successive occasions, the draft did not reach the necessary consensus among the member countries, which disagreed with the legal basis of the document. A group of twelve States, led by Ireland and Sweden, and among which were Cyprus, the Czech Republic or Hungary, among others, have considered on several occasions that, as it is a matter related to taxation, the proposal had to be approved unanimously.
The other countries and the European Commission, however, they were of the opinion that the regulation could be approved by a qualified majority, as it is not a matter that modifies community tax laws, since it is a matter of transparency. Now, the number of members who have agreed with this second group has increased, which will allow the initiative to be taken to the European Parliament.
“Today’s debate has paved the way for the proposed directive to advance as a matter of priority”, Said during the videoconference Pedro Siza, Minister of Economy and Digital Transition of Portugal, who chaired the meeting of the Ministers of Internal Market and Industry of the EU.
After this official approval, the proposal will have to go through a series of procedures before it is published as a directive and is mandatory. However, the intention expressed by Siza to have priority could speed up its adoption and make large companies have to publish the requested information in a short time.
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