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Austria Set to Impose a “Tech Tax” on Apple and Others

Austria has announced that they, like France, are planning to develop their own “tech tax” for companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz made the announcement, as the country joins an increasingly vocal European Union over the amount of tax – or lack there of – from large tech companies.

“It is only fair that internet giants in Europe pay a proper amount of tax,” Kurz said, according to a statement. “In addition to a EU-wide move, we’ll also act on a national level. We will introduce a digital tax in Austria.”

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The tax would not go into effect until 2020 and the full details of the plan have not yet been released. That should happen in January 2019.

The amount of taxes paid by companies like Apple has been a sore subject within the European Union as a whole. Leveraging legal loopholes and reporting of taxes in low tax countries like Ireland, the companies can generally lower their tax bill to the EU by a significant percentage. Generally speaking, companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook pay 9% in taxes versus the regional average of 23% on other companies.

The move by Austria shows that many European Union countries are taking matters into their own hands and not waiting for a pan-European answer from the EU Parliament.

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