France chases internet company giants for tax

France chases internet company giants for tax and plans to require extra taxes for the big internet companies. This says the country’s Minister of Industry Arnaud Montebourg to TV channel France 2. Several other countries, including Sweden also calls out for tougher tax rules for internet giant.

Like several other European countries France accuse internet companies like Google and Facebook to evade taxes by channeling advertising money to companies in low tax countries.

Google handles the majority of advertising sales via its office in Ireland, where corporation tax is lower.

It is through user searches that Internet companies can control the ads and make money, only in Sweden Google users search the internet up to 50 million times per day. Therefore the French Socialist governments consider demanding companies to pay fees for the use of personal data to earn money.

France has already begun examining Google. Tax authority’s raided the international giant’s Paris office in 2011 and is since then investigating whether the internet company has failed to pay tax on its advertising sales or not. Google claims that they have followed France’s tax laws.

Swedish tax rules for internet companies

Also Sweden has lost large sums through the internet giant’s tax structure and are looking to improve the Swedish tax rules for internet companies.

SVT has made a calculation that shows that Facebook earns hundreds of millions of SEK in Sweden, but only paid 770,000 SEK in taxes. This also applies to Google, which had revenues of up to three billion SEK from the Swedish market in 2012 but only paid 944,000 SEK in income tax.

According to SVT (Sveriges Television) Finance Minister Anders Borg is critical to the setup and want tougher rules and to tighten up the conditions for the network companies’ tax strategies.

- I also know that the U.S. had such thoughts. It would be great if we could make unanimous progress with this, says Anders Borg to SVT (Sveriges Television).

A yet unpublished report shows that Swedish companies are buying Internet advertising for over seven billion SEK per year, according to SVT (Sveriges Television).

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