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— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on September 10, 2018, Monday.
Imposing tax on international tech companies is not a fresh topic in EU countries, but the ongoing controversial is: there are different opinions with EU, so it is hard to make any progress for legislation. To some big economy, such as France and Italy, saying EU will lost millions of tax amid the global digital giants shift taxable profit to low-tax countries, so those countries support EU commission's proposal that imposing 3% tax on big tech companies introduced in March this year. However, some branch offices of large multinational companies create jobs and tax revenue locally in the low-tax countries, such as Luxembourg and Ireland, so those low-tax countries is beneficiary of current situation, so they have big doubts about the EU's practice of taxing technology companies as a whole.
France's proposal contributed to the progress of negotiation in the informal meeting of economic and financial affairs ministers held on last weekend: setting a term with validity when impose digital tax on tech companies, and if the OECE make a deal in the future, then the internal proposal of EU will expire. So this suggestion dash the doubts of some countries, especially the Ireland, before that, Ireland thought, EU should find a global solving plan about imposing tax on internet companies, or it will hurt EU's competitiveness.
So on weekend, the change of attitude of many EU countries is a signal that while differences remain, many countries are starting to reach a compromise on the issue, and EU is likely to agree on a "digital tax" by the end of the year.
Under the new draft, about 200 companies will be included in the new tax, with about half of them affected by the new tax plan are US companies, and new taxes are expected to be around 5 billion euros a year across the European Union, that, of course, will put further profit pressure on global tech giants such as Facebook，Google and Amazon.
Bruno Le Maire
French Finance Minister
Our goal is to have, in the coming years, European google, European FB, and whoever will be included in the scope of the taxation, I just want to recall the thresheshold of the taxation, which is 750 million euros, which means that, currently some European companies would be included in the scope of our own taxation.
But before all set, the final draft may make changes, including details about tax regulatory. But because the voice for imposing tax has lasted for long time, 11 EU countries are considering take actions alone, so if EU can't reach a deal by the end of this year, then we will see many countries act alone.