Google should pay more tax: English

Bill English. Photo Getty
Bill English. Photo Getty
Finance Minister Bill English says he wants Google, Apple and Starbucks and other multinationals to pay more tax and hopes the issue will be raised at economic talks this week.

Mr English is among 2500 political, business and academic leaders attending the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

The minister said this morning that getting corporates to pay their fair share of tax required international collaboration.

"We're very keen to see them pay more tax. The tricky bit is that it requires combined international action," he told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report.

"A whole range of countries are going to need to agree on tax rules for companies like Google and Apple and Starbucks and any number of corporates that you can think of.

"I would certainly hope that's going to be discussed at this forum because it's going to need a lot of people including businesses to see that it's unacceptable."

He said the small amount of tax paid by large companies was particularly unpalatable to taxpayers who had "shelled out billions of dollars" to underwrite some of the large corporations during the recession.

Although Google and other companies had local offices in New Zealand, their tax bills were believed to be out of proportion with their reported sales in this country.

The Labour Party said last week that "aggressive tax avoidance" by digital giants, including Facebook, was costing the taxman millions of dollars each year.

- Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald

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