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France creates new 3 percent tax for internet giants

Unable to convince the EU to impose a special tax on US tech giants, France has decided to go it alone.

Today the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire announced the introduction of a bill that will grab 3% of all revenues deemed to have been generated in France by digital companies with sales in excess of €25 million in France and €750 million globally. This seems to cover around 30 companies, but especially Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, which is why it’s being called the GAFA tax.

“This is about justice,” Le Maire reportedly said. “These digital giants use our personal data, make huge profits out of these data, then transfer the money somewhere else without paying their fair amount of taxes.” Funny how new taxes are always in the name of fairness isn’t it?

Said tech giants are unlikely to take this new tax lying down and will presumably threaten some kind of strop in retaliation, but if they want to make money in France they will have to abide by its tax rules. A bigger danger for them will be if France manages to pull this move off as that will presumably give the rest of Europe, and even the world, some funny ideas.

France has been planning something like this for a while but it’s not obvious exactly how it will claim the tax, especially as it expects to tax revenues derived from advertising, which is the main business model of Google and Facebook. France reckons it will trouser at least €500 million a year from this, which will come in handy since its own population doesn’t seem too keen on paying tax these days.

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3 comments

  1. Avatar Abiding-citizen 07/03/2019 @ 2:42 pm

    Where do you get your “its own population doesn’t seem too keen on paying tax these days” from? I think it gives the wrong tone of your whole article, Give me a country where the population is keen to pay tax?
    And I was hoping your article would be about understanding the impact on job market and businesses of these huge companies that avoid paying taxes. Instead, you take the mickey out of a country that is brave enough to go against EU complacency on the matter.

  2. Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 07/03/2019 @ 2:51 pm

    Gilets jaunes mate. Sorry if the headline misled you.

    • Avatar john Thompson 07/03/2019 @ 4:39 pm

      Every commentary draws a nationalist rant, Oh so sensitive what about the issue itself so much narcissism to go around. The era of now. I think tax is justified wherever revenues are being drawn . Its about sustainability, help support your source so you can continue to draw from it in the future. It’s respectful too. The question is whether the tax refers to a charge on the big companies or whether it will be passed back to end users once its a business to business tax that’s fine. we have to see where the burden eventually falls

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