The so-called ‘Google tax’ is currently the focus of a heated debate. Proponents claim that large digital companies make use of the users’ data, but do not contribute to the public welfare when they shift their profits to tax havens. Opponents fear competitive disadvantages and barriers to research and innovation. While the matter is technical, the debate becomes very political. This policy brief examines why digital taxation is a problem after all and why the European Commission’s proposal for a solution does not fit the bill.