by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels
20 February 2020
France’s Directorate General of Public Finance confirmed in a statement issued on February 10, 2020, that companies liable for the country’s digital services tax can delay payment upcoming installments of the tax until December 2020.
The French DST is a three percent tax on the revenue of digital companies providing advertising services, selling user data for advertising purposes, or performing intermediation services. Companies with global revenues of EUR750m (USD817m) or more and French sales of at least EUR25m are required to pay the tax.
The postponement applies to advanced payments of the digital tax which are due in April and October 2020, and allows taxpayers to make a single payment of any tax due in December 2020. The statement confirmed that no late payment penalties or interest will be due on payments deferred until December.
Payments for the 2019 tax year, which are due in April 2020, are not affected by the changes.
The measure is intended to forestall the possible application of retaliatory tariffs on certain French goods by the United States, which argues that the DST unfairly discriminates against American technology firms. In the meantime, France, the US, and other nations are continuing to discuss a multilateral solution to the tax challenges of the digital economy.
However, following the talks which resulted in this compromise, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire insisted that France would not repeal its DST, which he reiterated will remain in place until it is able to implement internationally agreed digital tax measures.