One of Austria’s many sausage stands. (budget travel accommodation / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Multinational corporations, including Starbucks and Google, pay less tax in Austria than the proprietors of a coffeehouse or sausage stand—yet they take in hundreds of millions of dollars from advertising there, said the country’s chancellor, Christian Kern.

The Street reports:

The center-left politician quoted Austrian activist and author Max Schrems, who said Amazon (AMZN) only paid €1,400 ($1,562) in corporate taxes in 2014 during an interview with Der Standard. He also bemoaned outdated Austrian legislation that uses fees on advertisements to fund the country’s independent media but exempts online ads.

“Every Vienna café, every sausage stand pays more taxes in Austria than a global company. That’s true for Starbucks, Amazon and other companies,” Kern was quoted by the paper.

The chancellor praised the European Commission for this week demanding €13 billion in back taxes from iPhone giant Apple (AAPL) and criticized fellow EU members that offer tax breaks to foreign companies. Brussels ruled that Ireland had improperly granted tax breaks to the computer company, putting the rest of the European Union at a disadvantage.

Read more.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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