Austria: Amazon and Starbucks Pay Fewer Taxes Than Sausage Stands


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Multinational companies such a Starbucks the coffeehouse chain and Amazon the e-commerce giants pay fewer taxes in Austria that does one of the tiny sausage stands in the country, lamented the republic’s chancellor during an interview that was recently published.

Social Democrat Christian Kern the chancellor is the head of the centralist coalition government and was critical of two internet behemoths Facebook and Google, as well. He said that if the two paid more in taxes than subsidies the print media would increase.

Every sausage stand, every Viennese café pays more in taxes in Austria that does a multinational conglomerate said Kern during his interview with Der Standard a local newspaper.

He said that the list included big corporations such as Amazon and Starbucks as well as others. He also praised the ruling of this past week by the European Commission that said Apple should pay as many as €13 billion equal to $14.5 billion in back taxes as well as interest to Ireland’s government due to the scheme that routes profits through the country equal to illegal state aid.

Apple said it is going to appeal the EC ruling, which its CEO Tim Cook called total political crap. Facebook, Google and other multinational businesses said they follow all the rules when it applies to taxes.

Kern was critical of the European Union states that have low corporate tax rates that lured many multinationals that has been heavily scrutinized of late by Brussels.

What Malta, Luxembourg, Ireland or the Netherlands are doing lacks in solidarity towards the remainder of the economy across the EU.

He came up short of directly saying that Google and Facebook would be required to pay additional taxes, but did underline the significant sales the two have within Austria, which the chancellor estimated at over 100 million euros annually.

He also mentioned the small number of employees the companies have calling them the good dozen for Google and less for Facebook.

Kern added that the companies suck the largest chunks of the advertising volume from the economy and to pay hardly any corporate tax or advertising duty in the country of Austria is tragic.

Kern became Austria’s chancellor during May.

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