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French Senate Finance Commission Accepts Proposed 'Google' Tax

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Senate Finance Commission has adopted an amendment to the country’s 2010 supplementary finance bill (le collectif budgétaire pour 2010), providing for the introduction of a tax levied on online advertising.

According to the general rapporteur of the Commission, Philippe Marini, the amendment serves as an “appeal”, designed to initiate a debate on the issue in France. Defending the decision, Marini emphasized that the Internet should not be allowed to escape a levy imposed on traditional media.

The amendment stipulates that any Internet service provider, established within the European Union, and providing a service in France, would be liable to pay a 1% tax on their advertising revenue.

Presented recently to the French Culture Ministry, the Zelnik Commission’s report entitled “Creation and Internet”, proposed the introduction of such a levy to finance the development of cultural services over the Internet. Indeed, according to Marini, the tax would serve to generate in the region of EUR20m.

Approved by the National Assembly, the 2010 supplementary finance bill has yet to be examined by the Senate.