France to introduce new ‘GAFA’ (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) tax in new year

“France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday amid difficulties in finalising a new EU-wide levy,” RFI reports.

“France has been pushing hard for a new so-called ‘GAFA tax’ named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe,” RFI reports. “‘The tax will be introduced whatever happens on January 1 and it will be for the whole of 2019 for an amount that we estimate at 500 million euros ($570 million),’ Le Maire told a press conference in Paris.”

“Ireland, which hosts the European headquarters of several US tech giants, leads a small group of otherwise mostly Nordic countries that argue a new tax could lead to reprisals against European companies and stoke anger in the US,” RFI reports. “Any tax changes must be approved unanimously by member states.”

“France’s move to introduce the tax on January 1 could be driven by domestic budget concerns,” RFI reports. “Under pressure from ‘yellow vest’ protesters, President Emmanuel Macron announced a series of measures last week for low-income families which has left a multi-billion-euro hole in the 2019 budget.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

The welfare state is not really about the welfare of the masses. It is about the egos of the elites. — Thomas Sowell

Looters rob Bordeaux Apple Store during ‘Yellow Vest’ protests in France – December 10, 2018


  1. We have lots and lots of poor and homeless here in the People’s Republic of California. In fact we lead the nation in poverty. We are also importing more and more poor, all the time. I think we should institute a tax against the successful companies in the European Union to help with this. We’ll let you know the amount right after the Guffaw tax amounts are known.

  2. GENIUS! After being so tone deaf by imposing gas taxes crushing the working part of the country, and succeeding in getting them to riot and burn Paris…the governing geniuses will now tax the masses on more stuff they need and use all the time! Tax on air and water next!

    Marie Antoinette says ‘hi’.

  3. Darn, there won’t be anything left for Apple shareholders if all the European countries start doing this taxation stuff. Apple’s value will likely continue to slide at this rate.

    1. Presumably this is a new “internet” tax, which mostly taxes the revenues of Google, Amazon and Facebook, and to a lesser extent companies like Apple, which uses the internet to stream movies, books, and music, etc.

  4. While I don’t like taxes there is no doubt that they are a hated necessary part of a grown up country. We what decent schools in the neighborhoods for our kids, decent roads, public hospitals available when we urgently need them. Let’s not forget police, fire departments, ambulances, universities.

    France is like any other countries, including the US. We just had a big “tax cut” pro now we have to watch Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Meals on Wheels, etc. to see just how we are paying for that “cut”.

    For Paris the need of for increased revenues without riots is pretty strong. As long as the GAFA companies are profitable they should not cry too much – especially with the goodies that a Trump gave them.

  5. A society of Perpetual complainers, who strives for and feel entitled to minimum work and maximum handouts….. ( not unlike some group in USA) the rich companies have to foot the bill.

  6. Well maybe if these companies stopped profit shifting to low tax countries then there wouldn’t be a need for this. For the record in Australia we’ve brought in a similar tax and we expect to increase revenues from these companies to a reasonable level. Is it fair for companies that pay a fair tax while seeing others rorting the tax system. Gee that’s a fair system. Not.

    If you want a bridge, a school or a road built where will the money come from, the tooth fairy? Taxes provide services and increase savings rates which then assist in balancing budgets. Trade imbalances get far too much attention rather, it’s the levels of a country’s savings (inputs) that are much more important

  7. during the recent drop in the stocks I read in the general news forums and even here in MDN non investors laughing saying that aapl investors are ‘idiots’ and ‘want to gamble in the stock market’ while they are way smarter spending their time and money watching TV, going to bars and mud wrestling games. They say saving and iesting are for ‘idiots’.

    when people like this end up homeless when they lose their minimum wage jobs they expect government handouts, hence all kinds of taxes.

    You buy aapl or other stock with money after you pay income tax, indirectly you as owners you pay Corporate Tax, then you pay tax on the dividends, and then after years of RISK you cash out (if there’s anything left) you pay Capital Gains tax. From whatever remains when you buy stuff with it you pay Sales Tax . If you buy a home in some places you pay Property Transfer Tax, when you live there you pay Municipal Property Tax, if you sell it you might in certain areas again pay Capital Gains and if you leave it to your children they pay Inheritance Tax….
    Not to mention all the State taxes, tariffs, highway tolls, sewage and water taxes, Carbon Gas Taxes, Plastic bag taxes etc etc etc

    the top 1 percent who own most of the wealth politicians etc keep talking about are NOT affected much by all these. Most multi billionaires pay minimum income tax (go ask Warren Buffet who wrote about it or Guy Kawasaki) , even their houses corporate owned are tax deductible as are their planes, yachts, vacations etc. The 50 million dollar Picasso’s in their houses are also tax deductible. Most of their wealth are in shelters like the in the Bahamas , Cayman islands etc.

    Note most billionaires CASH OUT when their companies go public – go look at Microsoft’s Paul Allen . Corporations like Apple are owned by Funds which are mostly owned by small investors (like 401 funds etc).

    Most tax schemes simply PENALIZE THE WORKING MIDDLE CLASS regardless of Politicians b.s about ‘taxing the rich’. Taxes are BREAKING THE BACK OF THE MIDDLE CLASS WORKERS.

    I’ve said it before : MOST GOVERNMENTS IN THE WORLD CAN DOUBLE SERVICES with HALF the Taxes if they didn’t waste so much. Too many governments WASTE money or are CORRUPT. A bridge in my town was to cost 30 million , now is 120 million due to waste and giving the job to the mayor’s friends.. Multiply this one billion times all round the world.


    sigh, Maybe those people are smarter watching mud wrestling and living on government handouts.

  8. Investorperson,

    Wise spending is a admirable thing but you miss the point here. These so called GAFA companies haven’t been paying their fair share of taxes and have been doing this by avoiding tax by “offshoring” their operations to low tax environments.

    By way of example in my neck of the woods Apple “offshored” their operations to Singapore but their actual sales have been in Australia. That being the case they should pay their fair of tax based on where the sales actually took place. It’s the same with services. If you provide a service to an individual in Australia and that individual pays for the service in that country then the income was derived from that individual in Australia and a tax should therefore paid to the Australian government.

    For the record this is the policy of a conservative government which is supported by the Labor opposition, the Greens, and various centrist and right wing independents. It has the support of practically every federal and state parliamentarian.

    Now here’s the rub, because various governments (such as the US governments under the current and previous administrations) have resisted tax reform (in this area), and that the difficulty of EU legislators to come to an agreement on this matter have all led to this situation. I’d much prefer an international agreement as it is less messy. However, with a lack of international agreement you then have to go for the next best option which is individual government based legislation.

    One final point also needs addressing. All of the taxes you mentioned are individual taxes and what the article and I are talking about are corporate taxes. Try not to confuse the two as the whole issue of taxation is a difficult area to talk about anyway.

    1. all my comments are ‘individual taxes’ /

      did you read my post
      a lot of aapl are owned by small investors

      one more time
      we buy it with after income tax monies
      then our dividends are taxed and when we sell we pay capital gains
      indirectly too we pay corporate tax as our dividends etc is AFTER corporate taxes are paid
      get that?

      as for Europe the EU TAX SCHEME France etc are complaining about and which they unilaterally dismissing were set up by themselves in the first place. They set it up to increase european business and now when USA companies legally use the rules (like thousands of European companies) the rules are changed for the USA companies.

      btw i’ve not commented on Australia’s which i don’t know what’s it about.

      people like France can do whatever they want but USA maybe should special taxes on French products

    2. “These so called GAFA companies haven’t been paying their fair share of taxes and have been doing this by avoiding tax by “offshoring” their operations to low tax environments.”

      Telstar, you have obviously never studied economics or run a business. Businesses, especially big businesses, don’t pay taxes. . . they are essentially tax collectors. They collect taxes from their customers, their ONLY source of revenue. They get what ever money they pass on to the government from YOU, the customer, the general consumer who in the final consideration utilizes the goods and services those businesses produce which YOU PAY FOR. Every bit of money a business takes in, whether it is used to pay their employees, buy the raw materials they use to make their products, or buy the products the sell, pay rent on their stores, pay their utility bills and other costs, or PAY TAXES, come from the money they make when they sell something that is ultimately paid in total by the hard working individual families and people who get a salary or punch a time clock or earn their own money which they SPEND to buy the goods and services whose prices include the taxes those businesses who made every component in it paid! The businesses collected that tax from YOU and merely passed it on to the various government. They’re hidden in the prices of everything you buy, but it really doesn’t matter to the business. They’ll just raise the prices on YOU when your demand they pay a fair share raises the rakes on them. . . Because it is your money that pays it.

      Apple has historically been paying around 26% to 28% in income taxes every year. They are the largest US business income tax payer in many tax years, in fact in one year, Apple paid 41¢ of every $1 of US corporate income tax paid that year. So exactly how much is a fair share of YOUR money Apple should collect from you and pass on to the government? Keep in mind that retail prices could be much lower if tax expense did not exist at EVERY LEVEL of the production chain. (It’s estimated that only 20¢ of a $2 loaf of bread is actual cost of material, labor and profit, the rest of it is taxes and regulatory expenses! — See Nobel Prize winning Economist Milton Friedman’s the Amazing Bread Machine for a full explanation.)

      By-the-way, I am an economist.

    3. “All of the taxes you mentioned are individual taxes and what the article and I are talking about are corporate taxes.”

      You seem to misconstrue the nature of a corporation. A corporation is a “fictitious person” . . . and is composed of individuals working in agreement. The individuals who receive a profit from their involvement in the “corporate” activity should be taxed on that profit distribution ONCE, when it is transferred to the investors as dividends, not twice, which is what you and the EU governments seem to be advocating, taxed first when it’s brought in a operating revenue and then again when it’s paid as profit dividends. This is contrary to economic reality and is essentially wishful thinking.

  9. My point is simple and brief and without shouting (caps). The GAFA companies are offshoring to low tax evironments. and they should be paying taxes where they derive their income. In a way it’s like wealthy individuals offshoring their finances to tax shelters. In corporate parlance they are availing themselves by using corporate tax shelters.

    1. i write in all caps because you don’t get it like claiming all my points were just individual taxes and not corporate. When you tax a corporation you tax all the individuals who own the stock and most of aapl,is owned by small investors. Even warren buffett buys it mostly for his fund for individual investors

      Apple Google etc didn’t set the Tax Rules rules. Also France is unilaterally changing it. As companies have said the morass of EU rules and changing laws midstream , and administration chaos means investor uncertainty. (what is EU anyways when individual countries can ignore whatever it means whenever privately they think it is advantageous). Maybe the reason why so many EU countries are in deep financial messes — like riots in France — is that have no clue to run a positive investor environment. because they don’t have a positive business atmosphere they don’t have businesses wanting to start there and thus have make more from sales taxes, gas taxes etc

    2. This is contrary to over two centuries of international law and treaties. To deconstruct that international tax law in which income tax is paid in the home countries of businesses requires renegiotion of literally hundreds of international treaties and the treaties that created the EU itself.

  10. You’ve thrown so many issues into the mix it would take a tome size response to address them so I’ll let it all go through to the keeper. And linked to that latter point I think I’ll watch the cricket instead.

    1. btw did you notice that this special tax mainly applies to American multinationals.

      Also Did you notice there is no giant internet, tech company from the EU? Doesn’t that indicate something wrong with the EU and how they encourage business? How come there’s not a giant EU tech or internet firm?

      1. All big tech are USA companies. “Doesn’t that indicate something wrong with the EU and how they encourage business?”

        only two answers:

        either the EU government business environment doesn’t encourage business or (2) the EU people are less innovative than Americans.

        btw the EU has 500 m people the USA 300 million so you can’t blame population size.

        so which is it?

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