France proposes taxing data transferred out of EU

Sep 20, 2013
People work at SITEL, an outsourcing call center provider, in Managua, Nicaragua on July 03, 2012.

France has proposed the European Union study taxing companies for transferring personal data outside of the bloc, for example in call centres abroad.

The proposal is part of a series France has made ahead of an EU summit next month that also includes a call to put in place new tax rules that would require non-European Internet companies to pay taxes in Europe on profits earned there.

France suggested studying "the introduction of tax rules for digital companies that would ensure that profits they generate in the European market are subject to taxation and the revenues shared among the member states," according to the document, obtained by AFP.

Complex, but legal, tax structures have allowed companies like Amazon and Google to pay little profit tax in most European countries although they generate hundreds of millions in profits in these markets.

A hot button issue given the austerity policies governments across Europe are implementing, British lawmakers recently gave Internet company executives rough rides in hearings over the tax avoidance schemes.

Through pricing of intellectual property companies can show most profit in European countries which have lower corporate tax rates, such as Ireland where Google has its European headquaters.

In a new proposal, France suggested "preparing a report on the possibility of taxing outside of Europe", but did not elaborate.

The transfer of personal data outside the EU is highly regulated in order to protect the rights of individuals.

Both transfers of data inside companies, such as sending information on employees from a European subsidiary to a non-EU parent, and between companies are affected.

Transfer of often happens when companies outsource certain tasks such as customer sales and help lines to offshore call centres.

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User comments : 6

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packrat
1.7 / 5 (12) Sep 20, 2013
I find rather amazing all the things that politicians think should be taxed....At this rate it won't be long before they come up with some sort of idiotic reason to tax you on the amount of air you breathe..... Or is is already possible for them to do that using the carbon credit scheme?
Lurker2358
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 21, 2013
There should be a tax on sending, but not receiving, emails, with a waiver on the first 500 per month. This would stop annoying spam advertisements, or at least make it a lot harder and more expensive for spammers to operate.
EyeNStein
1.7 / 5 (10) Sep 21, 2013
"Excuse me sir: Do you have a licence to carry that flash drive through customs? That will be a 10Euros per gigabyte levy."
Lurker2358
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 21, 2013
"Excuse me sir: Do you have a licence to carry that flash drive through customs? That will be a 10Euros per gigabyte levy."


It won't be that bad.

I just propose something like a 1 cent per email tax, after the first 500 per month, to help stop spam advertisements.

It would be nice to open my in box and only get real email from companies I requested it from, and not have that company give my information to ten other companies who all spam me to death.

Most of the time I can't even figure out what is a legitimate email and what is junk until I sort through it all manually.

If these bozos had to actually pay for each email sent, they wouldn't be in business, and that would do all of us a favor. We'd even have more bandwidth for legitimate services, since ISPs wouldn't be flooded with sending junk emails around from spam ads and the porn industry.

Consider, Snail Mail costs a stamp, which inhibits spamming via snail mail.

Email costs nothing, so they abuse it ad infinitum.
gopher65
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2013
If implemented only in the EU this scheme would have a limited impact. If implemented worldwide it would make a bit more sense. The problem is that right now a company can make billions in one country, then shift those profits to a low tax country and just sit on them. Forcing companies to pay income tax in the jurisdiction where the each sale occurred would fix this problem.

It would also kill the economies of tax havens like Ireland and Luxembourg, but they shouldn't have built their entire economies around a quasi-legal money shifting system anyway.
EyeNStein
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 23, 2013
The whole Europe wide VAT "value added" taxation scheme encourages exporting profits to tax havens. The only companies that end up paying taxes are those who don't have an international subsidiary to buy their own 'goods or services supplied' from at artificially inflated prices to minimise local "added value".