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"GAFA" taxation: everyone in Parliament agrees … but not immediately


On Wednesday afternoon, a consensus was reached in the Parliament's Finance Committee on the taxation of digital giants, "GAFA" (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, etc.).

However, the Liberals and the N-VA do not want to take the path of the Belgian device immediately. MP Vanessa Matz (cdH) has filed two bills signed by Eric Van Rompuy (CD & V) and Olivier Maingain (DéFI), which represent a draft European directive. The text, fiscal competence, does not receive the consensus of the Member States.

The proposed legislation provides for a 3% interim tax on revenue from the three main types of services: online advertising, sales of collected user data and digital platforms, facilitating interaction between users (son of airbnb).

The United Kingdom, Spain, France, Austria and Italy have started this route and have adopted similar legislation.

Sp.a and Ecolo-Groen supported the Belgian initiative. "To wait for all the consent, it is a matter of postponing the problem for an indefinite period of time and allowing these companies to continue to plunder countries. With this type of law, we will force these economic actors to sit at the table with the European Union," said Georges Gilkinet.

"We are also positive, but technically we have to be sure of it," said Benoit Piedboeuf (RM).

According to Liberals and N-VA, a number of issues arise, including how to avoid double taxation. Nationalists also fear that the consumer will ultimately see a tax on the price he pays.

"Because it is a small country, it will not be easy," said Steven Vandeput (N-VA), who prefers a European or OECD-wide initiative that is currently discussing the problem.

"Waiting for the European Union means nothing will be done," Matz replied.

The proposal has not yet been put to the vote. Before taking a decision, the committee will organize an exchange of views with the Minister of Finance Alexander De Croo (Open Vld).

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