MADRID – In Spain, the Google and the Tobin taxes are introduced to target the biggest international tax evaders and tax digital services and transactions. Spain expects to collect 1.8 billion euros through their introduction.
In October 2020, Spain announced it would introduce the Google and Tobin taxes in January 2021. The Spanish news site Eleconomista.es wrote that the government took action on Saturday, January 16. The Google tax is the tax on the revenues of large multinational digital companies. The Tobin tax is the tax on financial transactions.
With both taxes, the Spanish government expects to collect about 1.8 billion euros, even more than previously announced. Although the implementation of the Google and Tobin taxes occurred last weekend, the first taxes will not be collected until April (Tobin) and July (Google).
The addition of the Google and Tobin taxes will be temporary. In the absence of global tax regulations in this area, some countries have already introduced their own tax. A tax on digital businesses requires an agreement between the OECD countries; an agreement between the G-20 countries is necessary for the tax on financial transactions.
The Google tax is a 3 percent tax on certain digital services for companies that report at least 750 million euros in revenue worldwide and at least 3 million in Spain per year. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and Spotify are a few companies that qualify for this.
The Tobin tax is a small 0.2 percent tax on currency transactions. It applies when acquiring shares in listed companies with a market capitalisation of more than 1 billion euros.
Spain accused of discrimination
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) previously stated that the introduction of the Google and Tobin tax in Spain, Austria and the United Kingdom would discriminate against US companies, restrict US trade and therefore would be incompatible.