by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

20 October 2020

French Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire has reportedly said that France intends to collect the country’s digital services tax in 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 (USD880m) or more and French sales of at least EUR25m are required to pay the tax.

The tax, approved by the French parliament on July 11, 2019, applies to turnover realized in France since January 1, 2019. France subsequently postponed collection of DST installments due in April and October 2020 until December 2020, in a bid to stop the United States from applying retaliatory tariffs on a range of French goods.

However, Le Maire has now said, given the delay to an international agreement on new digital tax rules, there will be no further postponements to digital tax payments. This means that DST payments due in April and October must be paid in a single lump sum in December 2020.

France’s Directorate General of Public Finance said in February 2020 that late payment penalties and interest would not be due on payments deferred until December.

Le Maire’s comments followed the announcement by the G20 nations that a decision on new tax rules for the digital economy has been postponed until mid-2021, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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