If Canada imitated France and taxed the five giants of GAFAM – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft – at 3% on the income they get in the country, Ottawa could have earned them $ 365 million. Only the months of January and February. And mars are calculated Newspaper.
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These five multinational corporations that pay little or no tax have seen their global revenues rise nearly 50% over the period, which coincides with the first anniversary of the pandemic, to reach $ 322 billion.
Canada had no trace in their financial statements, though. The country is included in broad categories like the Americas or North America. So we must infer the Canadian share based on the size of the country’s economy.
That’s what the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (BDPB) did in February to calculate that Ottawa could bring in $ 4 billion in 5 years with this measure. We used the same equations.
Consequently, Amazon recorded $ 64.4 billion in revenue for North America in the first quarter of 2021, including $ 4.4 billion for the Canadian segment. If this amount was taxed at $ 4.4 billion at 3%, Canada would recover C $ 169 million.
The same account applied to Apple grants $ 80 million, $ 63 million to Microsoft, $ 27 million to Google and $ 26 million to Facebook.
A long-term project
The idea of taxing web giants is clearly not new. It is discussed in the G20 as in the OECD since 2013. Due to lack of agreement, France and other countries decided in 2019 to impose a temporary tax of 3% on their income.
In the federal budget released last month, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote that Canada will do the same from January 1, 2022. She said the same in her Fall 2020 economic statement.
The Trudeau government pledged to tax the web giants during the 2019 campaign. Since then, these companies have seen their profits and revenues rise.
Ottawa estimates it could bring in $ 3.4 billion over 5 years with that 3% tax, which is lower than the BDPB estimate, which will revise its figure soon.
“Our team is preparing an update to the digital services tax assessment that will take into account the details of the 2021 budget. We expect to publish this note by May 20,” said Yves Giraud, Parliamentary Budget Officer.
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