G7: Behind the scenes negotiations on a possible suspension of the French Gafa tax

On the sidelines of the G7 in Biarritz, Bruno Le Maire negotiates with the US representatives to consider a tax alternative to the French Gafa tax, however, voted at the beginning of the summer. Among the scenarios studied, its possible suspension in the short term in favor of a taxation of multinationals anticipating ongoing discussions at the OECD, according to Le Parisien .

As soon as adopted and already questioned: the French Gafa tax is the subject of behind-the-scenes negotiations of the G7 Biarritz between Bruno Le Maire and US representatives.

Yesterday, Emmanuel Macron himself admitted : “we do not want to keep our tax, it is very imperfect our tax, it’s much smarter to have international taxation.”

The French Minister of the Economy, which has a second home in the Basque country near the G7, has been entrusted with the delicate task of reducing the tension between Paris and Washington on the thorny issue of the taxation of US giants. digital. These are theoretically subject to a 3% tax on their turnover in France, since the final adoption of the law at the beginning of the summer.

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France fears US retaliation

However, this tax continues to arouse the wrath of US authorities, France remains under threat of retaliation from the US commercial authorities, which it wants to avoid at all costs.

According to a relative of Bruno Le Maire, quoted by Le Parisien , France would agree to suspend the tax Gafa as soon as the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) would have found a compromise on a new taxation of digital giants. Work is well advanced on a future tax framework targeting multinational digital companies whose economic model is based on a minimal physical presence in the territories where they are active.

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“Things are moving quickly and the OECD could agree on a global digital taxation by 2021. At that time, we would not wait for its entry into force to remove the taxa Gafa,” says this close to Bruno Le Mayor, whose comments are reported in Le Parisien .

“The looming solution would be the rapid adoption of this OECD rule on a bilateral basis.” France and the United States would not wait for a multilateral agreement that should not be reached for a year or two to go ‘avant’ confirms the newspaper Les Echos .

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For his part, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said during the G7 summit in Biarritz: “Honestly, we must do something to tax in a fair and appropriate manner the online activities that generate a huge turnover in our country”.

The British government is considering a similar tax on its side from next April, but also hopes to build a privileged trade relationship with the United States at a time when the United Kingdom is leaving the EU because Brexit.

“I’m open to discussing how we can do this,” Boris Johnson told the G7 press, “and I’m waiting to hear from our American friends about the modalities. to tax them equitably. “

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