France to go ahead with tax on internet giants despite US anger: CityAM

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France will continue its tax on internet giants this year, its finance minister announced today.

In January, France proposed to suspend its income tax for large digital companies until the end of the year, while an international agreement on cross-border taxation was negotiated this year.

Read more: France warns of technology tax chaos if global agreement is not reached this year

“A digital tax has never been more legitimate and more necessary,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters, adding that large digital companies were doing better than most during the coronavirus crisis.

Nearly 140 countries are negotiating the first major rewrite of international tax rules in more than a generation, to better take into account the rise of large technology companies that often make profits in low-tax countries.

However, the fallout from the coronavirus epidemic has left finance ministries more focused on saving their savings than revising obsolete tax rules, making the end of year deadline for concluding negotiations. more and more compromised.

Read more: Digital tax will free business productivity

“In any case, France will apply because it has always indicated a tax on digital giants in 2020 either in an international form if there is an agreement, or in a national form if there is no disagree, “said Le Maire.

The French national tax has been a source of contention with Washington, which considers that it unfairly targets American digital businesses.

In December, the United States threatened to hit French exports to the United States with high tariffs in retaliation for the new tax.

Read more: Budget 2020: the Chancellor presents the tax on digital services

The United States has committed to apply tariffs of up to 100% on $ 2.4 billion (£ 1.6 billion) of French products, in retaliation for finding that a new service tax digital technology in the country would hurt American tech companies.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said his investigation found that the French proposal “did not comply with current principles of international tax policy and was unusually burdensome for the US companies involved”, such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

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