Amazon and Starbucks pay less tax than sausage stall, says Austria
Amazon and Starbucks pay less tax in Austria than a local sausage stall, the country’s Chancellor Christian Kern has said in a newspaper interview.
“Every Viennese cafe, every sausage stand pays more tax in Austria than a multinational corporation,” Mr Kern told Der Standard.
“That goes for Starbucks, Amazon and other companies,” he said.
He added that EU countries with low corporate taxes were undermining the structure of the union itself.
“What Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg or Malta are doing here lacks solidarity towards the rest of the European economy,” he said.
He praised the European Commission’s recent order that Apple should pay 13bn euros (£11bn) more in tax to Ireland.
On Tuesday, the European Commission decided after a long investigation that Apple should pay the 13bn euros in extra tax, plus interest, to the Irish government because a long-standing tax deal with the US tech giant amounted to illegal state aid.
Apple and the Irish government have criticised the decision and the US firm has said it is confident it will be overturned on appeal.
Mr Kern, who heads Austria’s Social Democrats and the country’s coalition government, also said Facebook and Google had sales of more than 100m euros each in Austria.
“They massively suck up the advertising volume that comes out of the economy but pay neither corporation tax nor advertising duty in Austria,” he added.
As well as Apple, the European Commission has launched past or current investigations into the tax arrangements of Fiat, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Amazon.