A so-called “YouTube tax” could soon become law in the French Republic. Members of France’s National Assembly recently passed a law that would slap a 2 percent levy on all streaming videos from the social media video-sharing giant. While this law passed the National Assembly, it still has a ways to go before becoming the law of the land.
Since this tax would apply to all streaming videos, the 2 percent levy would also be applied to videos on Vimeo and Netflix. Lawmakers went even further and said they would levy a 10 percent tax on any video deemed either pornographic or excessively violent. However, French authorities did say they would give a break to smaller YouTube channels.
The most recent example is the tech company Apple, which many EU countries believe is cheating on their taxes. France is now trying to get Apple to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes. The USA, however, is standing behind Apple and refusing to pay Europe.
French lawmakers said the new law would make the tax system more just. They believe this measure can help collect the right amount of taxes from tech companies that often get off the hook. In addition to YouTube, lawmakers are keen on creating measures to collect taxes more efficiently from Facebook, Google, and Amazon.
As of today, the specifics of this law are still murky. Lawmakers say that all of the taxes will go into either the French Ministry of Culture or the National Center for Cinema, but they do not yet know how exactly the taxes will be enforced and collected.
The law has to pass the European Council, and the last time France sent them a proposal like this (which was in 2010) it was shot down.