France blocks state aid to companies using tax havens

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France must prohibit companies headquartered in tax havens or subsidiaries benefiting from low tax regimes from receiving any government assistance during the coronavirus crisis.

The country has pledged to raise billions of dollars to help businesses avoid folding during the national lockdown, which is expected to be gradually lifted beyond essential sectors starting on May 11.

But unions have warned that some bosses may seek to pocket state aid rather than use it to make sure employees keep their jobs.

Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of Finance, declared: It goes without saying that if a company has its tax headquarters or subsidiaries in a tax haven, and I strongly insist on this point, it will not be able to benefit from the ‘State helps.

France has already indicated that companies that buy back their own shares or pay dividends during the crisis will not be able to benefit from state aid.

“There are rules that must be followed. If you want state aid, you cannot pay dividends and you cannot buy your own shares, “he said. “And if your headquarters is in a tax haven, you obviously can’t get any public support,” he said.

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