BigTech tax may mean we pay more: Zuckerberg

Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is set to acknowledge that international action to wage higher taxes on BigTech firms may mean his company pays more.

In a speech to the Munich Security Conference today, he is due to concede that moves to agree taxes on digital revenues may mean that companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google may “have to pay more”.

His intervention comes as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) accelerates efforts to co-ordinate rules to crackdown on tax avoidance by multinational tech firms.

The new rules being drawn up by 137 countries aim to ensure that taxes are paid on the revenues and profits generated by digital services across borders.

The framework, which is due to be finalised by the end of this year, comes after longstanding criticism of companies moving their physical operations to favourable tax jurisdictions while generating billions of dollars of revenues from digital services and platforms in multiple countries.

Zuckerberg is set to say “we accept that [the reforms] may mean we have to pay more tax and pay it in different places under a new framework,” in fragments of the speech reported by Politico.

“I understand that there’s frustration about how tech companies are taxed in Europe, we also want tax reform and I’m glad the OECD is looking at this,” he added.

The OECD framework, published last month, is aimed at “reaching a consensus-based long-term solution to the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy”. The international body predicted that a new tax regime could result in and additional $100 billion in revenue collected by governments globally.

It comes as countries, including the UK and France, have pushed ahead with their own temporary domestic taxes on the revenues of digital tech giants - such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple - while the international community attempts to formulate co-ordinated action.

US president Donald Trump has threated retaliatory measures including tariffs on goods from countries looking to levy additional tax on US tech giants.

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