March 5. 2024. 9:01

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Chances of taxing digital giants ‘slim’, says French minister


Negotiations on taxing digital giants like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook are being blocked by the US, Saudi Arabia and India, said French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Monday.

This tax, also known as the GAFA tax, aims to make the digital giants contribute to restoring fair competition at the global level in terms of taxation, and will be discussed at the meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the G20 in India from 23 to 25 February.

“The chances of success are slim,” said Le Maire at a press briefing on Monday. According to him, “Today, things are blocked, notably by the United States, Saudi Arabia and India”.

As for Saudi Arabia, the ministry services detailed that the blockages concern “the scope of exemptions concerning extractive activities”.

On the other hand, the ministry services indicated that “India is mainly seeking to improve the support mechanism and, in particular the tax capacity building mechanism in order to help jurisdictions in developing countries implement the OECD agreement”.

In any case, France will plead “for a breakthrough in the situation”, added Le Maire, to achieve the implementation of a tax already tested in France, which brings “nearly €700 million” to the country.

Le Maire also reiterated the French position that “if the G20 and OECD countries could not agree on the practical implementation of digital taxation, we would argue for its European implementation. I think we are there”.

The ministry’s services specified that “today, we are still working on a multilateral convention”. But “if there is a failure at the international level, a European solution could be envisaged”.

On the other hand, concerning the negotiations on a 15% minimum tax on corporate profits at the global level, the French minister considers that “things have progressed well” and that the mechanism “could be implemented in the coming months”.

(Davide Basso | EURACTIV.fr)