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France eyes taxing Internet retailers

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, July 12, 2012 16:32 EDT
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Employees work in a service monitoring office at France Telecom-Orange in Paris last week. The French government on Thursday launched a study that could lead later this year to levies on big Internet based companies that sell large amounts in France without paying much in taxes. (AFP Photo/Kenzo Tribouillard)
 
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The French government on Thursday launched a study that could lead later this year to levies on big Internet based companies that sell large amounts in France without paying much in taxes.

Experts are to submit a report “regarding the localisation and taxation of profits, sales or, possibly, other taxable accounts,” a statement issued by several economic and business ministers said.

“Our fiscal system has trouble integrating new transaction forms generated by the digital economy,” the ministries said.

“The result is a loss of income for public finances and a competitive disadvantage for French companies with respect to international groups which have organised themselves to evade or diminish their taxes,” they added.

According to Yves Le Mouel, head of the French Telecommunications Federation (FFT), the main companies targeted are the so-called “GAFA” quartet, which includes Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.com.

Le Mouel estimated that they “make annual sales of around five billion euros ($6.1 billion) in France”.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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