• EU Commission: Agenda on Fair Taxation of the Digital Economy
  • November 23, 2017 | Author: Viola Bensinger
  • Law Firm: Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Berlin Office
  • On Sep. 21, 2017, the EU Commission presented an agenda aiming (in the EU Commission’s view) at a fair and growth-friendly taxation of the digital economy (A Fair and Efficient Tax System in the European Union for the Digital Single Market). The agenda is supposed to pave the way for a legislative proposal on EU principles concerning the taxation of profits in the digital economy. The EU Commission as well as the finance ministers of several Member States argued that the fiscal framework needs to be adapted to the modern environment and practical requirements. From their perspective, the current tax regime, which was designed for the traditional economy, does not cover activities which are increasingly based on intangible assets and data. The envisaged changes, that suggest taxation of turnover at the place where turnover is actually made, rather than where the relevant company is resident or has its relevant business establishment, has already caught the attention of critics: both the International Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce in Europe stated that a higher taxation of internet giants might damage the economic growth in Europe, would impede the global efforts on creating uniform tax regulations and would have a negative impact on the economic partnership between the EU and the United States. The finance ministers of some other Member States, including Ireland and Luxembourg, have also criticized the proposals, arguing that the EU should align itself with the international work being done in this area by the OECD, rather than acting unilaterally.