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Europe needs to decide on a digital tax and should lead the way if there is insufficient consensus globally, according to the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

There is still disagreement among EU members over how to implement a so-called “GAFA tax” – named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – to ensure the global internet giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.

France has been driving hard for such a tax, but we understand that at a meeting of EU finance ministers on 8 April, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Denmark blocked a draft GAFA tax. Meanwhile, lawmakers in France’s National Assembly, France’s lower house of Parliament, have begun debating a national GAFA tax law. The bill proposes a 3% tax on digital advertising and other revenues of tech firms with worldwide revenues of more than 750 million euros ($842 million). As readers will recall, Spain abandoned a similar tax earlier this year, preferring to wait for the EU’s proposals.

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Shahrain Coovadia

Shahrain Coovadia is a Cyber Security Consultant at Deloitte, South Africa. Prior to joining Deloitte she started a web-design studio, and worked at the University of Cape Town as a teaching facilitator. Shahrain graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours specialising in Information Systems. She currently facilitates web & database management for Ecommerce Forum South Africa (EFSA).

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