Governments agree to launch rewrite of international tax rules

PARIS (Reuters) – Nearly 140 governments have agreed to launch a rewrite of decades-old cross-border tax rules for the digital age over the coming months, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation said on Friday.

The rise of Amazon, Facebook and Google has strained existing rules to the breaking point because big tech companies can book profits in low-tax countries like Ireland no matter where their customers are located.

“The international community reaffirmed its commitment to reach a consensus-based long-term solution to the tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy, and will continue working toward an agreement by the end of 2020” the OECD said in a statement.

A growing number of countries preparing national digital taxes in the absence of a major redrafting of current rules, putting pressure on governments to thrash out an agreement in the coming months.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten

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