Google, Apple, Facebook and others are moving income from all their national operations to Ireland where the tax rate is ridiculously low. They inundate branches in other countries with mythical charges from head office, so profit is reduced to zero. Of course, in reality it is not zero.
What countries should do is instigate a REVENUE TAX. This idea will shock and frighten CEOs. It is the last thing they want. Companies should be levied with either revenue tax or company tax whichever is the greater. Setting a revenue tax rate at a realistic 4 per cent will solve national tax collection problems. Companies will not be able to avoid paying some tax.
Say a company has revue of $100 million. The tax payable on this would be $4 million. If the firm makes a 10 per cent profit of $10m then the tax owed to a government would be $10 x 0.45 (company tax rate), which means tax of $4.5m is due. Because $4.5 m is greater than $4m the normal company tax method would apply, namely $4.5m.
If a company fiddles the books and declares no profit at all they would have to pay a minimum of $4 and could not avoid it. At least large companies would pay something to national governments. Some businesses make as much as 30 per cent profit on revenue. A national government would not get the $30m x 0.45 = $13.5m. However, $4m is better than nothing.
✴ Economics by Ty Buchanan ✴