French Lawmakers Approve 3 Percent Tax On Online Giants

An anonymous reader quotes a report from AP News: France’s lower house of parliament approved Thursday a small, pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook — and the French government hopes other countries will follow suit. The bill aims to stop multinationals from avoiding taxes by setting up headquarters in low-tax EU countries. Currently, the companies pay nearly no tax in countries where they have large sales like France. The bill foresees a 3% tax on the French revenues of digital companies with global revenue of more than $847 million, and French revenue over $28 million. The bill adopted by the National Assembly goes to the Senate next week, where it is expected to win final approval. The French government estimates that the tax will raise about $566 million this year, and considerably more next year.

While France failed to persuade EU partners to impose a Europe-wide tax on online giants, the favorite to become Britain’s next prime minister, Boris Johnson, indicated his support for similar proposals in the UK. “In October, Chancellor Philip Hammond said the UK would tax 2% of British user-generated revenue in a new ‘digital services tax,’ which could bring in up to $502 million a year for the Treasury,” reports Business Insider. “Johnson appears to like the idea.”

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