Proposal to tax tech giants defeated in parliament

Ljubljana – A bill sponsored by the opposition Left to levy a 7% digital services tax on multinational tech companies was defeated in the National Assembly on Tuesday by 43 votes to 38.

Setting out the proposal in the legislature last week, the leader of the Left Luka Mesec cited Financial Administration data which show that digital multinationals generate about EUR 100 million in revenue in Slovenia a year.

Considering that their turnover is expected to continue to rise and given such an upward trend, Mesec argued that the bill could raise some EUR 10 million in budget receipts next year.

“What the Left has drawn up is in fact an initiative started in the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation and the European Commission,” he said, but added that there would obviously be no internationally coordinated measures, so Slovenia should act on its own and take the proportion of the digital giants’ profit that belonged to it.

Finance Ministry State Secretary Kristin Šteblaj said the government was aware that change in taxation was needed in response to digitalisation and contemporary digital business models and supported efforts for fair taxation of corporate revenue. “However, it also supports comprehensive globally coordinated solutions,” she said last week.

Similar arguments were offered by the four coalition parties, which voted against the bill today.

Meanwhile, most opposition parties argued the government was missing an opportunity to secure additional budget revenue.