Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

"What public resources did Amazon, a US company, use from France?"

off the top of my head, I'm sure there are lots more:

- a large set of well-off consumers who got there because of free public education, parental supports, et cetera

- a safe society so drop shipping is possible

- roads & infrastructure for shipping

- a justice system that protects Amazon from cheating buyers and sellers

- a stable, accepted currency

- no need for large numbers of armed guards at warehouses, protecting shipments, et cetera

- a functioning health & welfare system so can get away with paying employees & contractors peanuts

- a pool of employees and contractors who were supported by society growing up

and much more, I'm sure.




>- roads & infrastructure for shipping

Their whole point was that the shipper would pay taxes. Which they do. This applies to most of your points as well, they do get taxed on their warehouses.

What I find most comical about all this is there's already a 20% VAT on everything Amazon sells there. They do pay taxes already, France simply wants more, and this tax is written in a way where it will have a much larger effect on external companies than internal.


As far as I understand VAT's role in the economy, the Value Added Tax is offset to the last link of a value-adding chain: the consumer.

This creates the incentive of further adding value to a product/service and thus creating more economic output.

Amazon may be paying other taxes, but VAT is paid by the consumer.


It's a sales tax. In the EU it's fitted into the price the consumer sees. From every sale Amazon makes 20% of that is going to the government.

You could easily argue every tax on Amazon is a tax on the consumer. If you increase the cost of Amazon doing business, prices go up.


Just because the seller is responsible for transferring the tax revenue to the tax office does not mean that the seller is the one paying it.


In France businesses do not pay VAT, only consumers do. Business do collect it (on behalf of the state), but they never have to pay it themselves (technically: they get a refund when they do)


Vat isn't paid on the ad space these companies sell to other foreign businesses.



VAT is an interesting one, since Amazon isn't even affected by VAT. It's easy to reduce VAT liability altogether.

This tax is a crude corporate income tax replacement.


Amazon cannot go around VAT, it is paying it in full to the state; Amazon's customer can deduct VAT if the customer is a business and it is using the product in the production of other products or services that are sold and VAT is collected. The state collects VAT in the end, no matter what.


Amazon doesn't pay the VAT it collects it for the state.


All of those can be applied to any company however. By this logic, they should add a +3% tax on every foreign business.

None of this is true. It is a protectionist / anti-tax evasion measure primarily. It can be justified considering the threat that amazon poses in local markets


I don't know why you just ignore to comment on the justification given: that big tech companies engage in blatant tax evasion.


not sure what you mean


Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich. Companies like google can charge their profitable branches in other countries royalties to use Google software or platform moving the profits out of a higher tax country like France into Ireland where there's little to no tax. Even after they patched the Dutch part that allowed even the marginal Irish taxes to be avoided companies can still artificially lower their profit by transferring IP to an Irish company and charging for it's use.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/double-irish-with-a-dut...


Has any country explored options for shifting to a revenue tax to eliminate such games entirely?


It is done intentionally by countries like Ireland that otherwise would have zero interest from any investors. And this loophole is actually the foundation of the EU free market: you can produce something in a country, sell in another one, pay VAT in the destination country but pay profit taxes in the origin country. What France and others want is to pay profit taxes also in the destination country, on top of VAT.


This tax is exactly that.


I don't know honestly. Seems like a tough road to go down because there are legitimate ways for a business to have high revenues relative to their profits like low margin businesses and you don't want to stamp them out accidentally targeting this kind of dodge.


Tax cross-country licensing fees at some absurd rate.


yes of course how did i ignore to comment. i said

> It is a protectionist / anti-tax evasion measure primarily


He's saying that this tax exists because large tech companies are in a position to easily evade the taxes that most businesses have to pay.


Foreign business which are not internet based pay taxes. Your point is irrelevant.


Foreign businesses that deliver products and services from local branches, without IP value shifting - pay enough taxes to not be a problem.


> All of those can be applied to any company however.

And they tax any company that fits the profile, be they German, Japanese, Chinese, French, or, god forbid, US-American.


> By this logic, they should add a +3% tax on every foreign business.

That's precisely what a tariff is.


And those large corps are providing jobs to those employees nurtured by the state, being paid taxable income.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: