The possibility of large technology companies to pay taxes in the countries where they operate and have customers, even if they do not maintain any physical presence, has been one of the most discussed issues at the political and economic level, and has once again dominated the attention at the Davos forum, but now OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD in English) seems to have managed to take a step forward towards the completion of the measure by the end of the year.
The 137 countries and territories involved in OECD digital activity tax negotiations have reached an agreement on a tax on the location where technology companies have customers, even without having a physical presence. The statement released at the end of the two-day meeting shows the commitment maintains the objective of an agreement before the end of this year.
The Inclusive Framework on BEPS proposal was presented in October, and has now obtained a positive vote from all parties, and even the United States accepts the tax bases for large companies in the digital area, which are mostly American, like Google, Amazon, Facebook or Apple.
Even so, an exception was guaranteed, with the North American government including in the proposal the commitment to continue to discuss a protection regime, that is, the possibility that companies can choose the tax regime to which they would be submitted.
The topic returned to the discussion table in July, at a meeting in Berlin to try to reach a political agreement on the detailed structure of the tax, they fixed a list of activities that should be covered by the fee.
According to OECD figures, 240 billion dollars are lost every year due to tax evasion from large digital companies.
Angel Gurra, OECD general secretary, recalls that there is still hard work ahead to achieve a "workable" solution and "critical" policy differences that need to be resolved in the coming months. But he warns that it is better to reach a consensus than to risk that each country moves forward with its own solution.