Photo: Damien Meyer Agence France-Presse
The idea of a special tax on Google, Amazon, Facebook and other Netflix, is now becoming an imperative.
The pandemic of sars coronavirus makes it more urgent than ever that the imposition of new rules forcing the multinationals to pay their “fair share” of tax, say economists, starting with those that benefit the most from the crisis, as the giants of the Web.
The ongoing crisis plombera income and will explode government spending for months or even years to come, observed Monday, members of the independent Commission for the reform of the international corporate tax at the time of disclosing a fifteen recommendations. Already, the public expenditure of the emergency exceed 9 000 billion US$, and it predicts a half-billion of job losses, particularly among the most vulnerable workers of developing countries.
In the meantime that the countries agree, finally a way to charge a rate of minimum tax on multinational profits, governments could at least start by introducing a tax on pharmaceutical companies or digital which have seen their sales and their Stock market value grow with the pandemic and the measures of containment, argued one of the members of the Commission, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, during a virtual press conference.
This idea, in particular, of a fee for Google, Amazon, Facebook and other Netflix of this world “was already a huge response [to the population and some governments], but is now becoming an imperative,” he argues.
“This idea that no one will have to pay the bill left by the crisis, is not credible. History has shown that we cannot ignore for a long time a large public debt and that there is not a lot of ways to do it, ” said the French economist Thomas Piketty.
The best way, he said, would be to levy a “progressive tax” on the profits of enterprises, with lower rates for smaller in sectors highly competitive, and higher rates for larger, particularly those in a position of monopoly or oligopoly.
According to estimates by the international monetary Fund cited by the Commission, the aggressive tax avoidance being undertaken by the companies would deprive the government of over $ 500 billion of revenue per year.
Mainly conducted under the aegis of the Organization of economic cooperation and development (OECD), efforts aimed at the establishment of a better system of international guidance have met with many obstacles over the years, including just recently when Washington has threatened France trade sanctions if it went ahead with a minimum tax on the profits of the giants of the Web. Rather critical of the efforts of the OECD in the field, the Commission would like to see countries agree to a tax rate two times higher than the 12.5 % that is currently discussed, so that they are closer to the average applied to SMES in the world. It also wants developing countries — the main victims of small-games tax of large companies — are involved in the exercise.
All of these measures should be accompanied by a tightening of the rules and the fight against evasion and tax avoidance by rich individuals, noted by Thomas Piketty. “All this must go together to operate and have meaning. “