Zuckerberg agrees Facebook will have to pay more tax in Europe, report says

The CEO is expected to concede that his company needs to pay more in countries where it operates.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
2 min read

Zuckerberg appears on board with paying more tax.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to concede in a speech on Saturday that the tech giant should pay more tax in Europe, according to a report in the Times on Friday.

The social network chief is scheduled to speak at a security conference in Munich where he's expected express understanding over Europe's frustrations and accept that his company may need to increase its contributions.

Several British newspapers were shown excerpts of the speech ahead of the event. Facebook didn't respond to a request for comment confirming the reported contents of Zuckerberg's speech.

Facebook and other large digital tech companies, including Amazon and Google, are under pressure from countries around the world for not paying what is perceived to be their share of taxes. Currently, digital companies are only required to pay tax on their profits in companies where they have a physical headquarters. This allows them to take refuge in countries such as Ireland, which is popular among US tech companies due to its relatively low taxes.

A group of 137 countries is currently trying to overhaul current corporate tax rules in order to force digital companies to pay more tax on their products and services in all the countries where they operate. Such plans have been attacked by President Donald Trump as being discriminatory towards US companies. Trump has threatened countries developing their own taxation plans with tariffs and warned that levies may affect future trade deals.

Earlier this month, under such a threat, France agreed to postpone the introduction of its digital tax until the end of the year. Meanwhile, the UK is currently considering its own options for asking tech companies operating in the country to contribute more.

Leading the charge for tax reform is the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which said changes could bring in around $100 billion extra in global tax revenue.

"We want the OECD process to succeed so that we have a stable and reliable system going forward," Zuckerberg will reportedly say Saturday. "We accept that may mean we have to pay more tax and pay it in different places."

The OECD aims to reach an agreement by the end of the year, which it hopes will boost revenue across the board while avoiding trade wars between the US and countries keen on implementing changes more hastily.

Watch this: The Trump administration and Apple are set for a new battle on encryption