Google Inc. said it didn’t receive a tax claim from France after newspaper Le Canard Enchaine reported that the country is seeking 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in taxes from the world’s largest search engine.
“Google has not received any tax assessment from the French tax administration,” the company said today in an e-mailed statement. “We have and will continue to cooperate with the authorities in France.”
French President Francois Hollande met with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt this week to discuss creating jobs, investing and paying more taxes in France. The Socialist president told Schmidt that the development of digital economy calls for changes in how companies are taxed, the Elysee said after the session.
The meeting between Google and the French President, planned months ago, came as local government looks for ways to get Internet companies to pay more taxes on revenue earned in France. Companies like Google, Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc. would be subject to new taxes in advertisement, e-commerce and video-on-demand revenue under a draft law that will be debated in the French Senate on Jan. 31.
Internet giants collectively escape hundreds of millions of euros in French value-added and corporate taxes because of loopholes in European Union laws and the different tax rules in the region’s countries, according to Philippe Marini, the bill’s author and a senator and president of the Senate finance committee.