The French Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, announced today that his country will apply to the Internet giants a tax of national character if there is no agreement with the rest of its European partners to tax those companies, which are subject to the practice at a lower tax rate than the rest.
“From 2019 we will assess the digital giants nationwide if the European states do not assume their responsibilities and do not apply what seems preferable, an imposition of the Internet giants,” said Le Maire, in an interview with the channel “France 2”.
This measure comes in response to the withdrawal yesterday, under pressure from the “yellow vests”, of the fuel tax increase that was scheduled from January and that the French president, Emmanuel Macron, has decided to cancel completely to deal with to calm the protest movement.
Macron, however, ruled out the reinstatement of the tax on wealth (ISF), which is also one of the demands of the “yellow vests”, and which he had suppressed after arriving at the Elysée as a gesture to make France one more country. attractive for investors.
The head of Finance, when speaking today about how this loss of revenue with fuel will be compensated, said that “those who have money are the digital giants, who get considerable benefits thanks to the French consumer, thanks to the French market, and who pay as minimum 14 points less than the other companies “.
In recent months, Le Maire has been one of the main promoters of a European tax on internet giants for 3% of their turnover to avoid that when declaring their profits in countries with less tax burden, they end up getting a tax rate much lower than other companies.
However, faced with the reluctance of several of its EU partners, and in particular of Germany, Paris and Berlin reached a compromise on Monday that reduces the initial proposal, so that the tax base would be limited to the billing of services online advertising and not for example to the sale of data.
Furthermore, this device, which will be submitted to the approval of the European Council from here to March, would only come into force if an international solution that is being negotiated within the framework of the OECD is not found and finds many resistances, in particular from the United States.