Taxes: only 11.7 million from the big web companies

By transferring profits and revenues to countries with a cheaper tax system, the giants of the web pay off irresistible figures at the Italian Fisco. Meanwhile, a common digital tax for the EU countries is being studied.

In 2016 the fees paid in Italy by Amazon, Apple, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor were only 11.7 million. Merits or reasons for choosing to establish the tax office in European countries with the lowest taxation. But things could change soon: the agenda of the forthcoming European Council scheduled for 15 and 16 September is the discussion of a European web tax.

From web giants fees for less than 12 million

As reported by, in 2016, the Italian Tax Authority collected just under 12 million taxes from the largest companies dealing with digital information and communication. Despite the sales and sales of these web giants continue to grow, the bill paid to the Revenue Agency is extremely low.

All of these great companies – from Facebook to Google, through Amazon, Twitter, Airbnb, Apple and TripAdvisor – relocate revenues in Italy to the countries they have chosen as a tax office. These are, of course, countries with the most affordable taxation systems, such as Holland, Luxembourg and Ireland.

The fees paid by Google were slightly higher, 42.7 million euros, but much of this figure was paid to settle one of the rates of the agreement signed with the Italian Tax Authority at the beginning of the year. The agreement came after an investigation by the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office and covers unpaid taxes for a period of five years, from 2009 to 2013.

European web tax debate in the forthcoming European Council

The most effective solution to succeed in recovering the fees arising from the sale of services in our country is to set up a European web tax. After years of comparisons and opposing positions among the various European leaders, there now seems to be a major agreement.

The next European Council, scheduled for Tallinn on 15 and 16 September, should discuss the definition of a common digital taxation system throughout the EU. If it passed the English model, which exempts 25% tax on profits, the Italian Tax Authority would only collect 190 million euros from Google and Facebook, which currently pay less than 2.5 million taxes to our country.