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Moscovici: Unhappy about digital tax? Go complain to Paris and Berlin

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European Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said companies and states that are unhappy with a proposal to tax digital companies’ revenues should direct their gripes to France and Germany, the initiative’s chief backers.

According to a draft proposal obtained by POLITICO, the Commission recently floated plans to tax the revenues of digital giants at rates between 1 percent and 5 percent, in what would be a radical departure from the normal practice of taxing profits. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire argued the tax should be higher, between 2 percent and 6 percent.

In a conversation with POLITICO Playbook, Moscovici said unhappy parties should bring their concerns to Paris and Berlin as he said the Commission was merely “taking into account” those capitals’ requirements.

He also said he will present present proposals on how to tax digital companies next week that include taxing “for the short term some parts of digital activities with a modest rate and a very precise basis.”

Other elements of the proposal will push for a European common corporate tax base (which, according to Moscovici, would be a “huge reform, the major reform for the 21st century for corporate taxation” if it were to happen) and better definition of “what is digital presence and how can we measure the presence of digital companies so that they can be taxed.”

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