Germany Says ‘No Decision Made Yet’ Regarding Taxation of Digital Service Companies Including Apple

Germany today denied a report that claimed the finance ministry had given up on plans to introduce more taxes on certain “internet giants,” like Apple, Amazon, and Google. The taxes are related to a new proposal from the European Commission, which aims to make companies with “significant digital revenues” in Europe pay a three percent tax on such services in the EU (via Reuters).


While Germany “has long been cool” on the plans, a report from Bild recently claimed that Finance Minister Olaf Scholz had “abandoned plans” to implement the taxes on digital companies. Citing confidential finance ministry documents, the report said this was because a “demonization” of these companies was seen as “not productive.”

Denying the report, the German finance ministry says there has simply been “no decision made yet” on whether or not Germany will implement the digital tax. Speaking to Reuters, a finance ministry spokesperson explained that Germany is ultimately aiming for “fair taxation of internet companies.” A final decision is expected by January 2019.

“There has been no decision made yet by the minister or the ministry on one or more instruments,” a finance ministry spokesman said when asked to comment on the Bild report.

“The debate is still ongoing, also among the finance ministers of Europe and the G7/G20 countries. The Federal Government still aims to ensure a fair taxation of internet companies,” the spokesman added.

For Apple, such a tax would affect the company’s services segment, which remains to be an important revenue driver for the company. These include services like iTunes, the App Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, and AppleCare.


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