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France wants a 3% tax for large internet companies

The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire wants a 3 percent tax on the French revenue of large internet companies, such as Amazon, Airbnb, Booking.com and Criteo. It looks like an EU-wide digital tax plan will be ditched next week.

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While the member states of the European Union can’t seem to agree on an EU-wide tax for large internet companies, France doesn’t want it to end there and just keeps pushing on letting digital giants pay taxes.

Focusing on major online ecommerce platforms

The French Minister of Finance told newspaper Le Parisien that the proposed tax is aimed at companies with worldwide digital revenue of at least 750 million euros and a French revenue of more than 25 million euros.

He wants to target commission-based online platforms, like Amazon or Booking.com. Companies that sell their products on their own websites, like French ecommerce company Darty, wouldn’t be targeted.

One French company would be affected

In total, there are about 30 companies that would be affected if the tax plan gets greenlighted. These companies are mostly American, but also German, Spanish and British, as well as one French company (Criteo) and several companies that are originally from France but have been bought by foreign players.

‘A matter of fiscal justice’

According to Le Maire, a taxation system for the 21st century has to be built on what has value today. “And that’s data”, he said. The minister also added it’s a matter of fiscal justice, with these companies paying some 14 percentage points less tax than small- and medium sized enterprises in Europe.

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