A "specific invoice" on a tax that applies to "this year" companies that offer digital services in France will be presented at the end of February "in the Council of Ministers", said the Minister of Economy Bruno the mayor.
This project "will soon be presented to Parliament," said the mayor in an interview in the Journal du Dimanche, stating that the tax would affect "all companies with a turnover of more than 750 million euros to the worldwide and 25 million euros in France ".
"If these two criteria are not met, they will not be imposed," he said.
"The tax will apply from January 1, 2019, and the rate will be modulated according to sales by a maximum of 5%, and it should generate around EUR 500 million," he continued.
The tax on digital services, including Gafa (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), is "a major problem of the 21st century" and "a question of justice and efficiency," said the minister.
If France has decided to act without waiting for a consensus at European level, Mr Mayor has, however, considered that such an agreement was still possible by the end of March, stressing that France supported a proposal by Pierre. Moscovici, French Commissioner for Economic Affairs.
– Europe divided –
"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, and a few months before the European elections our citizens would not understand that we are giving up," he said.
In mid-December, the French government, in search of revenues for the financing of social measures announced by President Emmanuel Macron, announced that it would tax the digital giants by 1 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.
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 different 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% for revenues from certain activities of digital giants such as the Gafa.
But it is not certain that the Spanish law will never be voted, since the government does not have a majority in parliament.