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Digital Tax Even More Important in Pandemic: France’s Le Maire

May 4, 2020, 3:38 PM

The economic crisis spawned by the Covid-19 pandemic makes taxation of digital giants and other multinational companies more relevant than ever, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

  • France doesn’t favor any new taxes on households or companies to pay for massive efforts needed to revive the economy and employment, Le Maire said Monday in a LinkedIn Q&A session.

  • Instead, he said he has proposed to Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz, that the best solution is to accelerate work on two international tax projects: taxation of digital giants and a minimum tax on multinationals, projects led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
  • The OECD aimed for global agreement by July but now has delayed that target to October because of the pandemic.

  • During the crisis digital giants are continuing to thrive, but they are the least taxed, even as the smallest companies do their part to pay taxes, Le Maire said. “So my proposal to tax the digital giants is more current than ever.” He added that he hoped “our European partners are going to realize the absolute necessity of accelerating taxation of digital giants.”

  • He said multinationals that make the most profits must pay a minimum amount of tax and can’t escape by going to states where taxation is very low.

Check out Bloomberg Tax’s country-by-country roadmaps covering direct and indirect tax developments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at correspondents@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Meg Shreve at mshreve@bloombergtax.com; Kathy Larsen at klarsen@bloombergtax.com

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