Austrian Presidency pushes digital tax

Sep 17, 2018

Speaking at a recent ECOFIN meeting in Vienna, Austria’s Minister of Finance, Hartwig Löger said that implementation of an EU digital tax is possible by the end of this year.   Austria took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July this year. 

Minister Löger said that “there was broad support in the Council especially for preparing further measures against no-tax and low-tax systems. We want to make sure that the profit of big companies is taxed in a fair way and that there is an increase in the resulting revenue.”  He also noted that France and Germany support the introduction of a digital tax with a sunset clause to ensure that the tax operates as a temporary measure until agreement is reached on an international level.

In a report to the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and Taoiseach, the Revenue estimated that a digital tax would cost Ireland between €120 million and €160 million in payments to the EU while taking in only €45 million for the exchequer.  A digital tax can only be implemented on unanimous agreement by Member States.