PARIS (Reuters) - France’s parliament defied U.S. pressure on Thursday by giving final approval to a tax on big technology companies, potentially opening a new front in a trade row between Washington and the European Union.
Paris is not alone among capitals in Europe and beyond in proposing a tax on big tech firms. Here are some of the others:
** Britain has been among the most vocal proponents of taxes on big tech companies that focus on making it more difficult to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions.
Finance Minister Philip Hammond has said Britain will unilaterally implement a digital service tax if there is no international agreement soon.
Last year, he proposed that Britain tax profitable companies at 2% of the money they make from UK users starting in April 2020, raising more than 400 million pounds a year.
This would apply only to firms above a “quite substantial” size.
It is not clear whether Britain’s next prime minister will follow through with the proposal.
** The Spanish government approved a draft law modeled on what the European Commission had proposed. It would tax large companies 3% of their digital revenue, bringing an estimated 1.2 billion euros to state coffers every year.
Only companies with global revenues of at least 700 million euros, and 3 million euros in Spain, would be subject to the tax. The bill still faces parliament discussions that could take several months.
Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez faces a confirmation vote as prime minister later this month. If he is endorsed and is able to form a government, the tax could still be approved this year.
** Italy introduced a tax on “digital services” in the 2019 budget, but the government has not yet issued the decree to activate the new measure and it is not clear when it will do so.
The new tax is meant to apply to digital companies with annual revenues of not less than 750 million euro, of which at least 5.5 million are generated in Italy. The tax rate was set at 3% of revenues in Italy.
Austria in April increased the size of its planned tax targeting tech companies to 5% of their advertising revenue in the country from 3% percent previously.
The right-wing coalition government that put the plan together collapsed in May and a bill is yet to pass through parliament.
** The leader of Denmark’s new Social Democratic government said last year when she was in opposition that she would implement a digital tax if elected.
Denmark’s former centre-right government fought against an EU-wide digital tax, citing the likely loss of tax revenues.
Earlier this year, Australia abandoned plans for a digital services tax, opting instead to wait for a global agreement on the best way to handle the taxing the revenues of tech giants.
Group of 20 finance ministers agreed in June to compile common rules to close loopholes used by global tech giants to reduce their corporate taxes.
Compiled by Richard Lough and Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Alexander Smith