France, Germany to propose new tax on Internet giants: official

PARIS: France and Germany plan to issue a new proposal to tax Internet giants so that they pay a “fair contribution” in every country where they earn money, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said.

“We will unveil a new plan along with our German partners at the next finance ministers’ meeting in Tallinn in mid-September” for taxing technology giants including Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, Le Maire said in a Facebook Live chat.

“We propose taking the revenues of these large companies as a reference point, and use this to determine a tax level so that these companies pay what they should to the treasuries of every country where they make money,” he said.

He acknowledged, however, that similar proposals had already been made at an EU level as well as for the OECD group of developed economies, without success.

“For now, these talks have stalled,” Le Maire said.

The Internet companies have come under fire in Europe for using complex fiscal arrangements to declare profits in countries with the lowest tax rates, even when they are earned elsewhere in the bloc.

Le Maire’s comments come after Google recently escaped a €1.115bil (RM5.68bil) tax bill sought by the French treasury, after a court ruled that the US company’s Irish subsidiary was not taxable in France.

French President Emmanuel Macron promised to get tough on US Internet giants during his election campaign, seeing their low tax rates as a source of resentment about globalisation and as unfair for European companies. — AFP


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