Bruno Le Maire: EU’s Technology Tax Edging Closer

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According to the finance minister of France, the plan of the European Union to impose a tax on internet giants such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google is nearing completion.

The proposed three percent technology tax would be targeting multinational firms that have global revenues of more than £660 million per year. The said move could raise £4.4 billion per year across Europe.

In an interview with France Inter Radio, a French radio station, Bruno Le Maire disclosed: “We are close to having a deal in our hands.”

Other smaller member states have expressed their uncertainty regarding the proposal of the European Commission because of fears of lost revenue, and Olaf Scholz, the finance minister of Germany, said that it was important to find time for a thorough discussion regarding the plans.

However, the European Commission is eager to pursue a deal by Christmas.

The body’s head of tax informed the BBC that an agreement was already “doable by Christmas” and “let’s do it now.”

Last October, Philip Hammond, the British Chancellor, announced his plans to impose a two percent UK digital services tax in the Autumn Budget. He said that it would affect the profitable businesses within the scope of the tax, such as social media platforms, online marketplaces, and search engines that earn at least £500 million in global revenue.

The move will be consulted on ahead of an April 2020 start date. Hammond said that it will make sure that “the UK continues to be the best place in the world to start and scale up a tech business,” however the technology sector responded to the plans.

David Richards, the co-founder and chief executive of Wandisco, warned that “in the longer term, heavy-handed policy will feed the climate of uncertainty that surrounds the UK and encourage and isolationist mentality that damages Britain post-Brexit.”

The founder of Tech London Advocates, Russ Shaw, stated: “Tackling the digital tax question without coordinating efforts with the US and EU as key global partners, will only further entrench Britain in an isolationist position we can not afford.”