France to introduce digital tax if no European Union deal over taxing internet businesses

If EU fails to agree on getting the likes of Google and Facebook to pay more tax in Europe, France will go with their own digital taxation.

Published: 06th December 2018 04:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2018 04:25 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only.

By PTI

PARIS: France will forge ahead with its own tax on digital giants in 2019 if the EU fails to agree on how to get the likes of Google and Facebook to pay more tax in Europe, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday.

Le Maire told France 2 television he would give himself "until March" to reach a deal with other EU members on a digital tax, nicknamed the GAFA tax after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

If the talks fail, "we will do it at the national level in 2019: we will tax digital giants if European states do not take their responsibilities," he said.

On Tuesday, France and Germany agreed on a scaled-back version of the tax in a bid to overcome significant opposition to the plan among some of their EU neighbours.

Under the new plan -- presented as an interim solution while waiting for a global deal brokered by the OECD -- digital giants would pay a three-per cent levy on advertising sales.

The measure, set to come into force in 2021 if a global plan has not been agreed by then, would chiefly target Google and Facebook, which dominate the online advertising market in Europe.

Paris argues it would be a vote winner for mainstream EU parties before European Parliament elections next May, in which anti-Brussels populists could do well.

France's initial proposal had a far wider scope but failed to gain traction, effectively killing the proposal as European tax rules require unanimous backing by all EU members.

Ireland, which hosts the European headquarters of several US tech giants, leads a small group of otherwise mostly Nordic countries that argue the tax will also punish European companies and stoke Washington's anger.

Germany, which firmly backed the plan at first, also expressed reticence after auto giants expressed concern it could damage their digital business models.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp