France Approves YouTube Tax

December 8, 2016 Taxation in France

Youtube taxPARIS – France could soon start taxing the revenues of video-streaming sites, even though not based in the country.

This week the parliament of France voted on, and approved, a new measure to tax the advertising revenues of online video services available in France, a tax which has already come to be called the “YouTube Tax”.

The tax was initially proposed, and subsequently, dropped earlier this year during the discussions on the 2017 national budget plan.

Under the scope of the new rules, video streaming websites which derive any advertising revenues from French viewers will need to pay a tax of 2 percent of the profit earned, or a raised rate of 10 percent if the materials are violent or adult in nature.

The only exemption will be news websites which display advertising-supported videos as a “secondary” activity to their primary news offerings.

The tax is intended to help raise more funds to be used to pay for the creation of French video content, as currently, paid video services online are charged a similar tax.

Industry groups have come forward to criticise the tax, claiming that it will negatively impact France’s image as a destination to do business, while also being difficult to enforce, and bringing in negligible revenues.