FRANCE has accused the United States of seeking to undermine international talks to update cross-border taxation for the digital age (Google Tax) and urged Europe to prepare an EU tax if the negotiations fail.
It is understood that almost 140 countries are discussing and negotiating the first major rewrite of international tax rules in a generation to account for the rise of huge digital companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google all of which are American.
They were expecting the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to come to a decision within a few weeks so that new rules will apply in 2021 but the likelihood of achieving this appears to be slight.
European confidence was dented when Washington asked for a pause in the talks earlier this year at it believes there is room for a voluntary role for American companies.
“It’s very clear, the United States don’t want a digital tax (deal) at the OECD. So, they are making obstacles that prevent us from reaching an agreement even though the technical work is done,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told journalists.
Even the EU isn’t completely unified on this matter as some countries including Holland and Ireland have benefitted from the giants switching profits by setting up accounting offices in these countries where tax is lower than in other member states.
France decided to go ahead and tax American Corporate giants before a final agreement was reached but America has retaliated with some swingeing tariff charges for French exports.
Monsieur Le Maire has been quite determined in his position and also said “If the U.S. blockage is confirmed by year end, we are counting on the European Union to make a formal proposal to tax digital activities in the first quarter of 2021.”