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France persists despite US threats – RT in French

The Ministry of the Economy confirmed on November 25 that the Gafa tax would be levied in 2020, despite possible reprisals from the United States.

The tax on digital giants will be well levied in 2020, the French Ministry of the Economy said on November 25, despite threats of US retaliation on $ 1.3 billion (about 1.1 billion euros) of French products, including handbags and cosmetics.

“Companies subject to this tax have received a tax notice for the payment of down payments for 2020”, Bercy told AFP, confirming information from the Financial Times. According to the British daily, Facebook and Amazon “are among the companies” which have been notified “in recent days”.

In doing so, France is exposing itself to sanctions from the United States, in the midst of the transition between the proclaimed winner of the presidential election Joe Biden and the outgoing head of state Donald Trump, who had already raised to 25% customs duties on French wines in the context of the conflict over state aid paid to Airbus and Boeing.

Companies subject to this tax have received a tax notice for the payment of the 2020 installments

The French Parliament adopted in July 2019 a 3% tax on the turnover of digital giants, making France a pioneer country in the taxation of Gafa (acronym for Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) and other multinationals accused of tax evasion. It brought in 350 million euros in 2019.

Washington, which considers this tax discriminatory against American companies, had retaliated by threatening to apply tariffs of 100% on certain French products, in particular cheeses, cosmetics and handbags.

In January, however, the two allies had concluded a truce to give their chance to the negotiations conducted under the aegis of the OECD to create a global tax on multinationals: Paris froze the levy of its tax and Washington abstained from sanctions. However, these negotiations failed in October, rendering the truce void.

“We had suspended the collection of the tax until the OECD negotiations were concluded. This negotiation failed, so we will collect a tax on the digital giants next December, ”French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire warned in mid-October.

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