The EU is pushing ahead with plans to rewrite tax rules for technology companies, aimed at increasing governments’ take from the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon.
A report published by the commission said technology companies paid less than half the tax of bricks-and-mortar businesses.
A digital business with international operations typically pays a 10.1% tax rate in the EU, compared with a 23.2% rate levied on traditional companies, said the report.
In reality, many technology companies pay far less than their high street rivals. Amazon’s corporation tax bill in the UK is 11 times smaller than that of British bookstores, a recent study found. In Ireland, the European commission concluded that Apple paid 0.005% to Irish tax authorities in 2014, far below the corporation tax rate of 12.5%. Apple continues to fight the ruling.