a "Specific account" a tax that will affect companies providing digital services in France will be presented "In the Council of Ministers by the end of February", the Minister of Economy announced Bruno Le Maire in an interview with Sunday newspaper.
This project "Will soon be put to the vote by Parliament", he added, adding that the tax would be of influence "All companies with a turnover of more than 750 million euros worldwide and 25 million euros in France". "If these two criteria are not met, they are not imposed", he said.
"The reimbursement applies from 1st January 2019, and the rate will be modulated on the basis of turnover with a maximum of 5%. It should yield around 500 million euros »he went on. Tax of digital services, including GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) is "A big challenge for the XXIe century " and "A question of justice and efficiency"said the minister.
A national tax pending a European agreement
If France decides to act without waiting for consensus at European level, Mr Mayor has, however, considered that an agreement of this type was still possible "By the end of March", pointing out that France supported a European proposal by the French Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici.
"There are still some hesitant countries, we made compromises with Germany in December and I am convinced that an agreement has been reached by the end of March, but a few months away from the European elections our citizens would not understand that we are giving up. "he explained.
In mid-December, the French government, which was looking for an income to finance the social measures announced by President Emmanuel Macron, announced that it wouldst The digital giants of January, without waiting for a possible agreement within the European Union. This decision had brought about a change in strategy, while Mr Le Mayor, without success, had defended the introduction of a tax at European level on digital giants.
Similar initiatives in the UK and Singapore
Ireland, Denmark and Sweden clearly opposed a tax of 3% of the turnover of the digital giants. Germany, for its part, also did not like it, for fear of American retaliation against its car industry.
Initiatives to tax GAFA and other digital giants have already been taken at national level in several countries, such as the United Kingdom and Singapore. At the end of last year, MEPs voted in Italy for a tax on internet transactions, but the law will not finally come into effect.
In Spain, the government of the socialist Pedro Sanchez adopted a bill on Friday to create a tax of 3% on revenues from certain activities of digital giants such as GAFA. But it is not certain that the Spanish law will never be voted because the government does not have a majority in Parliament.