World News

France Flays US Move For Probe Into Tax Regime

France Flays US Move For Probe Into Tax Regime

The tax will be retrospectively applied from early 2019, raising around €400m ($450m) for the French government this year.

The decision to press forward with the plans arrives despite the hostility France has received from the U.S. after it recently announced similar digital tax plans.

She said that, in light of growing concerns about carbon emissions from trains, "France is committed to the taxation of air transport but there is an urgency here". French senators approved the so-called GAFA tax, an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, on Thursday.

Trump's call for an investigation marks a change in tone for the president, who has spent weeks accusing America's biggest tech firms of bias against conservatives bias and hinting at antitrust grievances.

France failed to persuade European Union partners to impose a Europe-wide tax on tech giants, but is now pushing for an global deal with the 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The 3 percent levy will apply to revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide.

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Some experts fear France's unilateral approach with the digital tax will backfire, ultimately harming consumers and smaller businesses it aims to protect.

Draft legislation introduced Thursday in the United Kingdom would impose a 2% tax on local revenue of large search companies, social media platforms and online marketplaces, starting in 2020. Taxing revenue is meant to counter the complex arrangements most U.S. tech firms have in place to avoid paying high taxes on their profits.

"We have chose to put in place an eco-tax on all flights from France", Ms Borne said during a news conference on Tuesday. The tax would be applied only to companies with global revenues in excess of £500m and revenue of at least £25m from United Kingdom activities.

However, France argues that as a sovereign state it is free to decide how it levies taxes, reports Reuters. In the first quarter of this year, for instance, Amazon's share of French e-commerce went down slightly, but the American retail behemoth still controlled no less than half of France's online trade. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is now reviewing steps to modernize the tax system for the digital economy but has said it won't reach a conclusion until 2020.

The proposal is very similar to a 3% tax approved this week by French lawmakers that has drawn a rebuke from the Trump administration, which says it may "unfairly target" USA companies.


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