The French parliament has just approved a 3% digital sales tax aimed at closing the loopholes big tech companies use to bring down their tax bills.
The plan: The tax on sales generated in France will apply to companies with global revenues over €750 million ($849 million) or French revenues over €25 million. It is expected to raise about €500 million a year.
A backlash: Inevitably, most of the companies affected are based in the US. It’s for that reason that the US government has ordered an inquiry into the new tax, with the potential to implement tariffs on French goods in retaliation.
First of many: The low tax yield from wealthy global tech firms is controversial far beyond France. The UK, Spain, Italy, and Austria are considering similar sales taxes, raising the question of how the US will respond if they take effect. Perhaps it might even prompt countries to finally agree on some common tax rules.
source: MIT Technology Review and Wall Street Journal