France pursues taxing big tech

France pursues taxing big tech

The French government will go ahead with its plan to tax big tech. The ministry of finance has notified leading tech companies, including Facebook and Amazon, informing them that they will be obliged to pay a digital services tax next month.

The government had suspended the tax earlier this year for the duration of negotiations over reform of international tax rules with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD) and Development. With talks set to continue into 2021, the decision is a kept promise from the Bruno Le Maire-headed ministry, which had vowed to resume collection if an agreement was not reached by December.

However, the Castex administration has stated that it will drop the tax once a deal is to update the rules surrounding cross-border taxation is agreed. The initial round of talks failed to result in a deal after the Trump administration refused to sign a multilateral agreement, according to officials.

The development marks a continuation of the saga of France’s attempts to impose tighter levies against US-based tech behemoths, who have long been criticised by the EU for dodging their fair share of tax. It remains to be seen whether the US takes a firmer stance in bringing big tech under financial constraints once President Biden moves into the White House