The United States want to challenge the international taxes imposed to the giants of the Web

Les États-Unis veulent contester les taxes internationales imposées aux géants du Web

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure Archives Agence France-Presse / Mark Makela Archives Agence France-Presse
Several countries have adopted their own version of a “tax on digital services”, so-called tax GAFA (an acronym for Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple).

The United States is now considering entering the world trade Organization (WTO) taxes, in their eyes, ” discriminatory “, that France and other european countries want to impose on the internet giants like Facebook and Google, said Tuesday in Paris an american official.

“Within our government, some are investigating whether this discriminatory impact would give us the right [to challenge] under trade agreements and treaties of the WTO,” said Chip Harter, head of the Treasury and united states delegate for the discussions of international tax.

“We believe that the theoretical basis of taxes on digital services, is poorly designed and the result is extremely discriminatory against multinational corporations based in the United States,” said Chip Harter to a few reporters, including AFP, on the eve of a two-day meeting in Paris at the Organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD).

The OECD is at the forefront of negotiations aimed at forging a new global agreement on the taxation of the giants of the technology and digital, that often declare their income in countries with low taxation, thus depriving the other countries of billions of dollars of revenue.

But this reform is expected early next year, pushing France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Austria and Italy to adopt their own version of a “tax on digital services” from this year, the so-called tax GAFA (an acronym for Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple).

Last week, France unveiled a draft law providing for a tax of 3.0 % on digital advertising, the sale of personal data and other revenue for the technology groups with more than 844 million of the world’s income.

It would be applied retroactively as of 1 January 2019, while measures in the United Kingdom and in other european countries do not fall into force before next year.

“We understand that there are political pressures in the world to tax more heavily a variety of international companies and we agreed that it was appropriate,” said Mr. Harter to the journalists.

“But we think that this should be done on a wider basis than the selection of a particular sector,” he said.