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French Parliament Approves Digital Services Tax

On 11 July 2019, the French Parliament definitively approved the legislation for the introduction of the Digital Services Tax (DST), with final approval given in the Senate following earlier approval in the National Assembly on 4 July. The DST, otherwise known as the GAFA tax for Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, will be levied at a rate of 3% on turnover generated in France. Taxable services subject to DST include:

  • The operation of digital platforms (interfaces) that provide intermediation services for the delivery of goods and services between users; and
  • Services marketed to advertisers for the placement of target digital advertising based on user data, including the advertising services, as well as services for the purchase, sale, and storage of such data.

Taxable services are excluded when provided between enterprises belonging to the same group.

Companies are subject to the DST if, in the previous year, their annual global revenue from services exceeds EUR 750 million and their revenue from services in France exceeds EUR 25 million. For related companies, the thresholds apply at the level of the group.

Although the DST was expected to apply retroactively from 1 January 2019, the final text of the legislation includes the provision that for the 2019 tax year, the share of services connected with France will be assessed during the period between the day following the publication of the Act and 31 December 2019.

Click the following link for the legislation as published by the Senate. Further details will be published after the legislation is enacted, which requires the signature of the president and publication in the Official Gazette, as well as a possible constitutional review.

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