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France expects minimum tax to yield "several billion" euros -minister

PARIS, June 9 (Reuters) - France expects to raise several billions of euros in extra revenue from a global minimum tax rate currently being negotiated internationally, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday.

Le Maire and his counterparts from the Group of Seven powers agreed on Saturday to support a minimum rate of at least 15% in talks under way at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on rewriting the rules of cross-border taxation among 139 countries.

Asked on BFM TV how much the minimum tax would yield in France, Le Maire said: “It’s still a bit hard to evaluate, but it’s several billion euros per year.”

A separate pillar of the international talks is focused on how to share out among different countries the right to tax the 100 biggest companies whose profits are considered to be beyond a normal level.

Le Maire said that, under this pillar, France could expect to see 500 million to 1 billion euros in extra tax revenue whereas its existing digital services tax, which Paris has promised to repeal once there is an international deal, generates about 450 million euros per year.

Some European countries had concerns that Amazon may fall outside the proposals for taxing “super-profits” because its overall operating margin is below the qualifying threshold of 10%.

Officials close to the talks said on Tuesday that G7 states had found a way to include Amazon by specifically targeting its more profitable cloud computing unit, which Le Maire said he was in favour of.

“I would like us to segment out Amazon’s activities so that what is highly profitable is subject to this digital taxation,” Le Maire said. “Amazon must pay this tax.” (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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