By the end of February for consideration of the French government will be submitted a bill on the taxation of multinational technology companies, especially those that are part of the “big four” — Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (GAFA), said in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, the Minister of economy and Finance of France Bruno Le Maire.
According to him, the tax “will affect all companies offering digital services and having a turnover of more than € 750 million worldwide and € 25 million in France.” The Minister called the taxation of international companies “a challenge of the 21st century” and “a question of justice”. The government intends to send the bill to Parliament as soon as possible. It is expected that thanks to the new tax, the French budget will be able to receive an additional € 500 million per year.
In addition, Le Maire promised to fight tax evasion, initiating a revision of international tax rules. According to him, legislators should “follow the money, which in order to evade taxes go where they should not be.”
At the end of June 2017, the European Commission in the framework of the Antimonopoly case fined Google € 2.4 billion for abuse of a dominant position in the market of search engines.
The Commission also came to the conclusion that Google has violated the rules of the European Union, providing an advantage to its Google Shopping service when searching for products through the Google search engine. According to the European Commission, Google significantly underestimated the ratings of competing services, and their offers were displayed not on the first page of the search, but on the fourth and further.
In 2016, the UK authorities forced Google to pay additional £130 million to the Treasury as compensation for the saved taxes. The British tax authorities believed that due to the registration of the company in Ireland, Google carried out “aggressive” tax evasion. The authorities accused the Corporation of immoral behavior, because in 2013, for example, Google paid only £20.5 million in taxes, despite the income received in the UK over $ 5.6 billion.
In November 2018, the Council of the European Union announced that it will develop a tax on corporations in the field of information services, which is also known as the “tax on Facebook”. Deputy Head of the European Commission on budget Valdis Dombrovskis called then to resolve this issue as soon as possible, as individual EU countries can introduce such taxes on their own at the national level. According to him, this may have a negative impact on the single market of the European Union.
Before that, the European Commission has prepared a draft digital tax, which should be levied at the level of 3% of the income of companies in the EU, including transnational companies operating in the field of digital technologies. Their annual turnover should exceed € 750 million.