Feeds

G20 gives Google, Microsoft, Apple et al tax deadline

G20 finance ministers speak loudly, mention big stick

The essential guide to IT transformation

The world's top 20 finance ministers have signalled once again that they're sick of their taxes disappearing offshore and have signalled a strong intention to get their cash back.

The ministers in question are all members of the Group of Twenty (G20) and gathered in Sydney, Australia, over the weekend.

The Communiqué (PDF) issued at the end of the meeting offered the anodyne comment (in paragraph nine) that “We are committed to a global response to Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) based on sound tax policy principles. Profits should be taxed where economic activities deriving the profits are performed and where value is created.”

So far, so normal. But things hot up a little later in the paragraph, to wit:

“By the Brisbane summit [in November], we will start to deliver effective, practical and sustainable measures to counter BEPS across all industries, including traditional, digital and digitalised firms, in an increasingly globalised economy.”

That's rather stronger, as it indicates the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Google – all of which have been criticised for find legal-but-tricky means of paying rather less tax than the spirit of the law intends – now have a deadline of sorts to either start paying up or have their lawyers and accountants come up with another cash-shuffling regime.

The noose is tightening in other ways. The Communiqué also says “we expect to begin to exchange information automatically on tax matters among G20 members by the end of 2015”, while all G20 members are getting a hurry up to sign on to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters tout de suite so that nations can peer into each others' books, the better to extract some tax.

The 20 finance ministers aren't only feathering their own nest: other activities will see the group “engage with, and support low-income and developing countries so that they benefit from our work on tax.”

All of which means some time in the next few years the companies above, and plenty of others, may find their profit margins under pressure. Let's see how the world responds once the price of its favourite gewgaws goes up as a result. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.