Big-name companies are often highlighted as prime examples of expert and immoral ‘tax avoidance’ processes, but it appears as though one location where they might not be able to get away with it (if that is their intention) is France, where the European country‘s ‘Superior Audiovisual Council’ (CSA) have suggested that government authorities will soon be clamping down hard on the online entertainment industry.
The organisation have revealed that there is an intention to expand their ‘culture tax’, an income-based payment imposed on entertainment companies (including cinemas, internet service providers, and broadcasters) that currently provides over €1.3b in funds which gets put back into production and promotion of French TV and film content.
The number could soon increase if the CSA’s report becomes a reality, though, with internet video outlets such as YouTube (through their French division) the primary target after having been left out of the criteria for so long. An expansion of that definition (which presumably includes localised video platforms such as Dailymotion) is also set to see ‘general content providers’ including Facebook hit with the taxation, as the report reasons that if the trends of YouTube ‘stealing viewers’ from watching TV or theatrical content are to be believed, then why should they be omitted from the tax, with the same going for Facebook should they be deemed by local authorities to be enough of a ‘content provider’ in this context.
Having earmarked Google (with earnings of $2b (€1.455b) per year in the country with ‘little-to-no domestic tax payments) as one of their leading targets to squeeze more tax from, will it be a campaign from the CSA that is opposed to a bitter end, accepted ‘for the greater good’, or accepted with creative loopholes still being employed. Something will drive a lot of people towards guessing option #3 should any developments occur…