Share This Page

G-20 wants multinational companies to pay more taxes

| Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — It's time to make Google, Apple and other multinationals pay more taxes, say President Obama and the leaders of the world's leading economies as they committed on Friday to crack down on cross-border companies that use tax havens.

French President Francois Hollande called the deal “perhaps the most important” agreement reached at the G-20 summit.

The G-20 leaders agreed to an unprecedented deal to share information on individual taxpayers, despite resistance by China.

Low tax payments by major global companies such as Google or Amazon have sparked public anger in Europe as countries struggle out of recession.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation chief Angel Gurria said that it's crucial that Internet giants like Facebook are covered by the new rules.

“You've got to get the big guys to make a contribution,” Gurria said. Otherwise, he said, “What are the treasurers, the ministers of finance left with? Medium and small-scale enterprises, the middle class to tax?”

But the G-20 leaders may find political battles at home in getting the tax treaties and laws in place.

The OECD, which is designing the global tax rules, has come under fire from cross-border corporations that say they're being unfairly targeted.

Gurria, in an interview, insisted that the tax plan isn't anti-business.

“We don't want to discourage companies from creating jobs. But we obviously don't want to encourage companies to take away the profits and squirrel them away and not share them with anybody else,” he said.

The plan includes ways to close loopholes and allow countries to tax profits held in offshore subsidiaries.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.