EU digital tax plans put on hold

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After a G20 agreement on a global minimum tax, the EU Commission put plans for a European digital tax on hold. A Commission spokesman said on Monday in Brussels. The finance ministers of the major industrial and trading countries agreed on a minimum tax of 15 percent at the weekend. Among other things, large digital corporations are affected, which so far have often paid little taxes overall. One problem in this context could be national digital taxes, which exist in France, Spain and Italy, for example.

These would have to be withdrawn, warned US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at the weekend. The financial policy spokesman for the Greens in the European Parliament, Sven Giegold, also said that the transatlantic partnership means foregoing European digital tax plans if the minimum tax is introduced as planned.

In view of a conversation between the EU finance ministers and Yellen, Giegold called for a significantly higher minimum tax than recently decided. “Olaf Scholz should stand behind Janet Yellen and demand the tax rate of 21 percent for Europe as well,” said Giegold on Monday shortly before the ministers’ exchange of ideas began. Before the US Congress votes on the tax rate, Europe should introduce the higher rate as a signal of support.

The final questions should be clarified by October this year. Then the heads of state of the G20 countries should agree. Scholz said he was “completely sure” that a decision would be successful there. The commission spokesman stressed that a joint effort was needed to complete the project.

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