Amazon claims to have settled a long-time dispute with French tax officials who’ve been seeking around 200 million euros. France was seeking to receive these funds since the French government was seeking the company’s taxes, interest, and penalties for the fiscal years between 2006 to 2010.
Amazon was under fire for minimizing its tax bill in France and other countries in Europe, by reportedly channeling sales through Luxembourg.
France specifically offers tax breaks to foreign companies who set up a network and facility in their country, their attempt of increasing revenue and overall economy. According to Reuters, the French government “opened the door to negotiating settlements in long-running tax cases after it lost a court case against Google (GOOGL.O) last July, [and] a French court ruled that Google was not liable to pay 1.1 billion euros in back taxes demanded by the French authorities as the company did not have sufficient taxable presence in France.”
The French government has since urged the EU to push for higher regulations with online companies based on their relative revenues instead of just current profits. Companies like Amazon are taxed based on profits by subsidiaries in low-taxed European countries like Luxembourg, though most of their sales come from major EU countries like Germany and England.
Amazon provided the following statement via USA Today regarding the recent deal:
“[Amazon has reached an] overall settlement agreement with the French tax authorities on past issues, and our main objective remains to provide the best possible buying experience for our customers in France, where we have invested more than 2 billion euros since 2010, and created more than 5,500 permanent jobs.”
With these troubles out of the way, Amazon can now focus on future endeavors without stressing about signing a deal with France, but this might be just the beginning of a troubling saga for Amazon in the years to come. If France were to push for more regulations, Amazon may find themselves with a major setback in overall profits.