G-20 push for more multinational tax

Francois Hollande. Photo / AP
Francois Hollande. Photo / AP

It's time to make Google, Apple and other multinational companies pay more taxes. That's the message President Barack Obama and the leaders of the world's leading economies sent to cross-border giants at a summit last week.

The new rules on taxes would make it harder for companies to hide profits in tax havens and force them to pay tax in the countries where they make money. The G-20 leaders also agreed to an unprecedented deal to share information on individual taxpayers.

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 G-20 countries said they will aim to set up a system so profits would be taxed "where economic activities deriving the profits are performed and where value is created".

They also said they expect to begin exchanging information automatically on tax matters among G-20 members by the end of 2015.

But leaders may face political battles at home in getting the new tax treaties and laws in place. Advocacy groups say that poorer countries should also be involved, so the world's neediest also benefit from more government tax dollars.

French President Francois Hollande called the deal "perhaps the most important" agreement reached at this year's G-20 summit.

OECD chief Angel Gurria said it's crucial internet giants like Google and Facebook are covered by the new rules.

"You've got to get the big guys to make a contribution," he said.

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