VIENNA (Sputnik) – The Austrian government will introduce a 3-percent tax on international tech giants with an annual turnover exceeding 750 million euros ($864 million), Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Thursday.
“Europe currently does not have taxation of digital Internet giants and Austria intends to become a pioneer in this regard… This important step seeks to ensure a greater tax justice. It relates to measures combating the deceit of tax authorities by the use of Internet delivery and also relates to measures in tourism dealing with such platforms as Airbnb [accommodation rental service],” Kurz said ahead of the government’s meeting.
Under the existing plan, Austria will collect taxes from tech giants whose revenues in Austria total at least 10 million euros. The tax will be targeting the companies’ revenues from online ads.
It is planned that the so-called digital tax, which is expected to affect such companies as Amazon and Facebook, will bring about 200 million euros to Austria’s state budget.
Many countries have accused major digital companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google of tax evasion by funneling their profits made in Europe to countries with low taxation — for example, Ireland and Luxembourg. The European countries have recently been discussing the introduction of an international digital revenue levy, which will tackle the issue of tax avoidance of big technology firms. The discussion was initiated by Austria which presided over the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2018.