Paris wants to settle tax conflict with Google
France's Finance Minister Gérald Darmanin has announced that he is ready to reach a compromise with Google after a year-long tax dispute rather than appeal the decision of a Paris court. About a fortnight ago the court ruled that Google did not have to pay back taxes amounting to 1.1 billion euros. Did France's new government have no other option?
France must look out for number one
Paris might be acting contrary to the plans of the G20 against tax avoidance by multinationals but Alternatives Economiques favours the move:
“France is reinforcing the trend towards bilateral agreements. ... Just as the British have done, and the Italians too. The most important thing, however, is that Trump essentially wants to offer tax amnesty to the top US corporations, giving them an opportunity to bring their profits stored in offshore tax havens back home at lower rates of taxation. Once the money is back in the United States, it means that less is available for other countries to demand in taxes. Seen this way France is right not to hesitate too long, even if it is regrettable that the bilateral battles will weaken international efforts as a result.”
A European problem needs a European solution
The EU must at long last introduce a system of standardised taxation for the digital giants from the US, Libération demands:
“These companies must help to finance the infrastructure they use, the high education standards they benefit from, etc. Moreover they must be taxed like European companies. Otherwise 'free and unhindered competition' - the mantra of the EU - will be restricted, which could impede the rise of European companies. The problem extends beyond our national borders: without a unified European approach, nothing will work. … Taxing Google could be the start of a solution. But to describe taxing Gafa [Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon] alone as a digital strategy would be tantamount to the terrible admission that Europe has failed and is now part of the US's sovereign digital territory.”