World leaders push big companies to pay more taxes

It’s crucial that Internet giants like Google are covered by new tax rules, says OECD chief Angel Gurria.

Chris Helgren/Reuters

It’s crucial that Internet giants like Google are covered by new tax rules, says OECD chief Angel Gurria.

ST. PETERSBURG — It’s time to make Google, Apple, and other multinational companies pay more taxes.

That’s the message President Obama and the heads of the world’s leading economies sent to cross-border giants at a summit ending Friday.


The new rules on taxes would make it harder for companies to hide profits in tax havens and force them to pay tax in the countries where they make money.

The G-20 leaders also agreed to an unprecedented deal to share information on individual taxpayers, despite earlier resistance by China.

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Low tax payments by major global companies such as Google or Amazon have sparked public anger in Europe as countries struggle out of recession.

The G-20 countries said in a communique Friday that they will aim to set up a system so that profits would be taxed ‘‘where economic activities deriving the profits are performed and where value is created.’’

The leaders also said that they expect to begin exchanging information automatically on tax matters among G-20 members by the end of 2015.


But leaders may face political battles at home in getting the new tax treaties and laws in place.

Advocacy groups say that poorer countries should also be involved, so that the world’s neediest also benefit from more government tax dollars.

French President Francois Hollande called the deal ‘‘perhaps the most important’’ agreement reached at this year’s G-20 summit.

Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, told the AP Friday that it’s crucial that Internet giants like Google and Facebook are covered by the new rules.

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