Big tech companies are known to be global tax evaders, using an elaborate corporate structures to pay virtually no tax. We’ve covered the practice here and here, yet there’s more action on this issue in the Eurozone Wednesday morning.
European members of parliament are digging into the practice and their Tax Rulings Committee, which is the body handling the probe, invited Amazon, Facebook and Google to an informal meeting to discuss their tax practices.
The three tech giants all declined the request, signaling a continued hardline stance on the issue.
The snubbed EU members said on Tuesday that it’s disappointing the tech giants “seem unable to find time to discuss their tax practices in public before the European Parliament’s Tax Rulings Committee, despite its best efforts to accommodate them.”
The Tax Rulings Committee was formed after the “Luxleaks” scandal, which highlighted the vast scale and elaborate measures large multinationals take to avoid taxes.
“If they stick to their refusal, it will come across as if they have more to lose than to win by being transparent about the way they fulfill their legal obligations in Europe,” warned committee chairman Alain Lamassoure.
Co-rapporteur Michael Theurer, who is a leader of the committee, was even more upset, saying the absenteeism was “absolutely unacceptable”.
While the committee has no power to force the companies to participate, it surely will not be viewed favorably by other EU bodies who do have power. Google is already under investigation by the EU competition committee, which has wide ranging authority to impose sanctions on the company.