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The French Government Goes Ahead With Its Digital Services Tax, Conflicting The OECD


Yesterday, the French Ministry of Finance had sent a reminder to all tech companies accountable for its digital services tax to start paying up their levies as they initially agreed that payment should continue from December 2020.

The French government had an agreement with its taxpayers to suspend tax payments until they have found the middle ground with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is based on overhauling international tax policies to be suitable for its subjects, such as Amazon, Apple Inc, Facebook, amongst other companies responsible for cross-border tax payments.

Early this year, The French ministry of finance agreed to pause tax payment till December until a favorable outcome comes up from bargaining with the OECD. Meanwhile, roughly a hundred and forty other countries aside from France suggested that the tax payment break should linger till 2021. But at the moment, the French government has already issued a notice urging tech companies to be tax responsible.

The French Economics and Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, said: “Companies subject to the tax have received their notice to pay the 2020 installment.”

Although France has developed its tax policy, and they are so confident in demanding taxes be paid as and when due. As of 2019, the French government added a 3% levy on revenue generated via digital services netted within its country. All tech companies that produce more than €25 million of revenues in France or €750 million of revenue worldwide should adjust to the new income tax system.

Facebook commented on the tax bill they received from the French government and pointed out that they have always made sure to comply with the policies that regulate its activities in every country in which they operate. They are willing to adhere to any demands in other to maintain their reputation.

“We ensure compliance with all tax laws in the jurisdictions where we operate,” Facebook said.

Just as Facebook is willing to comply with the French government, the world-famous online retailer, Amazon was also notified to have received the French government’s tax bill and is ready to comply.

The French authorities also noted that they would also adjust their tax policies once the OECD has reached a verdict on its systems that regulate international taxation policy.

Irrespective of where their customers are stationed, the French government is convinced that tech giants generate twice its revenue in low-tax countries. However, the U.S. government is still yet to agree with the French proposal that warrants U.S.-based firms to more tax in France, although they never said a word.

“We will levy this digital taxation mid-December as we always explained to the U.S. administration,” Bruno Le Maire commented, “Our goal remains to have an OECD agreement by the first months of 2021.”

Since there is going to be a change of political guards in the United States, Dan Neidle, a law firm Clifford Chance, doubts the new Joe Biden administration’s capability to approve the French tax proposal that doesn’t favour American tech giants.

Dan Neidle said: “I’m not sure why Biden would agree to something which enables U.S. corporations to pay more tax in Europe and has not many benefits to the U.S.”

However, tech companies will have to comply with harsh policies to continue business operations for the foreseeable future.

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