Data Tax Proposed in France

January 22, 2013 Taxation in France

Google Mail website screenshotFRANCE – Large internet companies could soon pay out more taxes in France as innovative new measures are proposed to ensure that the service providers pay their fair share for profits raised from French taxpayers.

Late last week a report commissioned by the President of France François Hollande was released, containing several proposed measures to address the problem of alleged tax avoidance committed by large multinational internet companies operating in France, such as Google or Facebook.

The report recommended that France could instate a new tax on the collection of users’ personal data.

It was explained that in the modern online economy, information on users was effectively a “raw material” with a distinct value, which was “…poorly reflected in economic science or official statistics.”

Explaining France’s stance towards the large internet companies, the Minister for the Digital Economy Fleur Pellerin said “…we want to work to ensure that Europe is not a tax haven for a certain number of Internet giants.”

This is not the first attempt by the French government to extract more taxes from internet giants, with discussion currently being held regarding the possibility of forcing internet service providers to pay a tax for linking to media and material created by French companies.

Photo by Spencer E Holtaway