France to introduce digital tax in new year

  • Published
Google, Facebook and Amazon illustration

France has said it will introduce its own tax on big technology firms from 1 January after EU-wide efforts stalled.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he expected it to bring in €500m (£450m) in 2019.

France, along with Germany, had been pushing for the European Commission to agree measures by the end of this year.

But it is opposed by countries including Ireland, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland.

Earlier this year, the European Commission published proposals for a 3% tax on the revenues of large internet companies with global revenues above €750m (£675m) a year and taxable EU revenue above €50m.

The move would affect companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

But critics fear an EU tax could breach international rules on equal treatment for companies across the world.

EU tax reforms need the backing of all member states to become law.

In the UK, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the Budget in October that he plans to introduce a digital services tax from April 2020 following a consultation.

Countries including the UK and France have accused firms of routing some profits through low-tax EU member states such as Ireland and Luxembourg.

Big US tech companies have argued they are complying with national and international tax laws.

However, the Commission said it wanted to tax companies according to where their digital users are based.