Feb 6, 2018
Amazon settles with French tax authorities
Feb 6, 2018
PARIS (Reuters) - US e-commerce giant Amazon announced on Monday it has struck a deal with the French tax authorities, to settle the issue of the tax bill for non-reported revenues generated in France in the 2006-2010 period.
Amazon also stated that the revenue generated from its retail business in France is now reported locally. "We have reached a comprehensive settlement agreement with the French tax authorities on past issues," said a spokesperson for Amazon France in a statement issued via email to Reuters, confirming the news reported by BFM Business.
The US giant did not disclose the amount of the settlement, and the Direction générale des Finances publiques, part of France's Finance Ministry, contacted by Reuters, refused to comment, invoking fiscal privacy.
France's Ministry of Budget, Public Accounts and Civil Administration was also unavailable to comment.
Amazon also stated that "all revenue, charges, profits and taxes related to the [French] retail business are now reported in France."
The US e-commerce group is following the example of Facebook, another of the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) companies which are regularly accused of fiscal optimisation across Europe. In mid-December, Facebook announced it would report its advertising revenue locally since 2018, ceasing to attribute it to its Dublin-based European headquarters.
In 2012, Amazon admitted that French fiscal authorities had claimed €198 million in tax arrears, interest and penalties, linked to the group's reporting abroad of revenues generated in France.
The US group already reached an amicable agreement with Italian tax authorities last December, for the figure of €100 million.
Last summer, the French government said it was willing to reach amicable solutions with the US internet giants to settle its tax disputes with them.
The French Minister of Budget, Public Accounts and Civil Administration Gérald Darmanin, though not ruling out an appeal after the judicial overthrow of the ministry's tax arrears demands against Google worth €1.115 billion, indicated his willingness to reach "a settlement that makes sense for the corporation and also for the public purse," in order to avoid prolonged litigation that would delay the collection of the tax debt.
Darmanin extended the offer to other internet giants, saying that "those who in the future would be willing to discharge their obligations through a reasonable agreement will find a responsive discussion partner."
A source within the ministry recently stated that "this approach was received rather favourably by the corporations who are potentially interested."
(Myriam Rivet, edited by Yves Clarisse)
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