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French Taxes on Big Tech



When progress on a proposed EU-wide tax on large tech corporations stalled in late 2018, and movement slowed on a Franco-German joint “Tech Ad-Tax”, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced France would move forward unilaterally with a tax on major American tech companies, including Amazon. In a 2018 press conference in Paris, Le Maire said: “The tax will be introduced whatever happens on 1 January and it will be for the whole of 2019 for an amount that we estimate at €500m”.


Details are still limited, but Mr. Le Maire said this proposed tax would be applied to direct sales, revenue from online marketplaces and the reselling of customer data. This tax would be implemented in March if the EU and OEDC proposals that include taxing digital media companies based on where they generate revenue rather than where they have regional headquarters are not enacted. According to reports, 12 EU member countries, including the U.K, are actively considering taxation of digital activities, including Amazon sales, independent of EU-wide activities.


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