EU ready to go it alone on taxation of digital firms

FILE PHOTO: EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni holds a joint press conference with European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis on Recovery and Resilience at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 28, 2020. Aris Oikonomou/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is ready to go it alone with taxing digital services of firms like Google, Amazon, Facebook or Apple if there is no global deal on such a tax this year, European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday.

He was responding to the decision by the United States to pull out of negotiations on a global solution to taxing digital services on Wednesday.

“I very much regret the U.S.’ move to put the brakes on international talks on taxation of the digital economy. I hope that this will be a temporary setback rather than a definitive stop,” Gentiloni said.

“The European Commission wants a global solution to bring corporate taxation into the 21st century – and we believe the OECD’s two-pillar approach is the right one,” he said.

“But if that proves impossible this year, we have been clear that we will come forward with a new proposal at EU level<’ he said.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski

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