back to article GSMA and Euro-telcos argue for exemptions from big tech tax crackdown laws

Telco lobby groups have argued that their members should be exempt from proposed global tax rules that aim to stop multinational companies – especially large technology outfits – legally but cynically avoiding tax by conducting online activities in low-tax jurisdictions. An approach to stamping out such avoidance was approved …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    Excuse me...

    .... Your companies don't pay taxes.

    Your customers pay your taxes for you. Let me put it another way. If the taxes go up, do you

    a) absorb the costs

    b) pass them onto your customer.

    See, your customer pays, not you.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Excuse me...

      That's not entirely true though. Companies disguise profits as fake costs and this way avoid paying Corporation Tax.

      Companies that do this are completely unaffected by this Global Tax charade.

    2. Terry Barnes

      Re: Excuse me...

      It’s mostly profits that are taxed which means there’s no need for a price increase because that would simply increase the amount of profits to be taxed.

      Increased taxation usually results in lower investment or lower returns to investment. Sometimes it drives increased investment because that serves to reduce the profit the tax is based on.

  2. Efer Brick
    Trollface

    In a recent survey...

    100% of respondents said other people skills pay more tax.

  3. Detective Emil
    Trollface

    I'm for it!

    Giving tax breaks to telcos always works out well.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Consumers pay VAT, companies for the most part do not.

    Regarding infrastructure costs, they are a normal part of any business and are not taxed, profits are.

    Any business that is unable to account for operating costs and build payment for them into its pricing structure will not be viable as a business .

    I am fairly sure that the right statistics could demonstrate that toilet paper contributes to economies so perhaps the manufacturers of TP should get special consideration too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do TP manufacturers get taxed twice on the same profit?

  5. Filippo Silver badge

    Tax elusion ought to be fought against - period. Not just tax elusion by tech companies, and definitely not just tax elusion by tech-companies-that-are-not-telcos.

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      "Tax elusion ought to be fought against ..."

      Eh?

      I'm not sure what you mean by "tax elusion" but if you mean "tax evasion" then that is a criminal offence.

      On the other hand what these companies are so fond of is "tax avoidance" which is legal but unethical.

      The OECD proposal, which has these people so exercised is designed to put an end to tax avoidance and by the looks of things is not going down to well in certain quarters. Governments should ignore this special pleading and put the measures into effect as quickly as possible. No one likes paying taxes but the benefits of civil society have to be paid for somehow, and unless these companies decide to stop using the roads, schools, police, fire services and so on then they should stop being a parasite and start paying their way.

      1. Filippo Silver badge

        I meant "tax avoidance" - apologies, English is not my first language.

        I'm aware it is legal, that's why I picked "fight", instead of "prosecute". New laws need to be made, with the purpose of making tax avoidance practices illegal.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The point made in the article is that those companies already pay tax and that this proposal would see them taxed twice, in two jurisdictions, for the same profit.

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    it would reduce their incentive and ability to invest

    yawn.....here they go again, the special pleading of industry financed lobby groups. You're in business. The incentive to invest is that you make money by doing so. The fact that you might make a bit less money than you might have done due to taxation doesn't mean you'll make no extra money, so the incentive is still very much there. And your ability to invest isn't reduced at all because, get this, you don't get taxed on investment, only profits! So you can invest it before the big bad taxman ever gets to see it! It seems so strange to have to explain to these huge businesses how business works, but of course they know really - they just fund the lobbying to try and confuse the public into thinking that it just won't be worth carrying on at all if they have to pay a bit more tax on the profits that will be exiting the business as shareholder dividends.

  7. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    I think I understand

    "That call is backed by citing data to the effect that mobile services help to grow economies, making extra taxation of carriers a self-defeating idea as it would reduce their incentive and ability to invest."

    So, just like someone thinking about producing fidgit spinners then? Therefore treat them the same as fidgit spinner producers ...

    Or, if they don't want to be producers, just like hauliers who only transport goods. Therefore treat them the same as hauliers.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again that the entire multi-volume tax system needs ripping up and replacing with something the size of a paperback (that includes a preface, a prologue and a complete index!) Fewer rules, more level playing field for everyone, fewer tax-avoidance escape tunnels for expensive tax accountants and lawyers to wiggle through.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Research" Tax Rebates

    Let's first see how much they all got for "R&D" tax refunds.

  9. HildyJ Silver badge
    FAIL

    Special treatment?

    Special treatment is a natural byproduct of any industry that employs lawyers and lobbyists.

    Any law or regulation will be pounced on as unfair.

  10. John Robson Silver badge

    Surely the call should be...

    To remove one of the TST or similar sector specific taxes, or just not to offshore profits to low tax regions.

    Have your headquarters in a low tax environment, but the costs to your subsidiaries in higher tax environments should be proportional to the costs, not massively inflated licensing fees.

  11. Chatter

    The real target

    Lets be honest. These corporations have never and will never pay even a milliliter of gold or any other form of money in taxes. All taxes are paid by people. If I can find a way to get your residence t my taxes I will do so. Therefor there will always be taxes raised on companies in foreign lands and the local companies that would otherwise be caught up in it will get an exemption. So Europe will tax America and the rest of the world and America will tax Europe and the rest of the world, and on and on. The problem is that this will only slow trade and total taxation. The real problem is that the US at Europes request is leaving Europe as a military support and taking the subsidy with them. This is putting a squeeze on the formerly subsidized States of the EU. Now we will all cry about the issue for a few years and the balance will reshape. Same story different verse.

    In the end this is just a way to get more out of fewer workers world wide. We will all end up worse off for the experience and all because in the end we all run out of other peoples money to spend. (loose quote from the iron lady, GB)

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