Listen to RFI News
Expand Player
Listen Download Podcast
  • Paris Live PM 14h00 - 15h00 GMT
    News bulletin 01/22 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h00 - 15h00 GMT
    News bulletin 01/21 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h00 - 15h00 GMT
    News bulletin 01/18 14h00 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.

France's tax authorities demand €600 million from Microsoft

media France's tax authority is seeking 600 million euros from Microsoft's local subsidiary. Reuters/Pichi Chuang/Files

France's tax authority is seeking 600 million euros from Microsoft's local subsidiary for billing French customers from Ireland, the weekly magazine L'Express reported on Wednesday.

The French weekly magazine L'Express reported that the bills concerned internet advertising and keywords for internet searches.

Despite a considerable presence in France, Microsoft paid only 32.2 million euros in corporate tax there last year, according to L'Express.

The French tax authority declined to comment, citing its policy to not discuss individual cases.

The US firm said only that it "acts in accordance with the laws and regulations in all the countries in which it operates, working in close cooperation with local tax authorities to ensure complete compliance with local laws."

The 600 million euro figure is the second-largest amount France has sought in unpaid taxes from a high-tech multinational, after 1.1 billion euros recently sought from Google.

That case was similar as it concerned the billing of French clients via Ireland, which meant France did not collect revenue on the transactions.

However, in July a French court ruled in favour of Google in that case, considering that Google France didn't have a stable presence in the country and was only helping the Irish unit.

France's tax authority is appealing the ruling, but the government doesn't exclude a settlement.

US tech giants -- including aAmazon, Apple and Facebook -- have come under criticism for their tax optimisation policies, in particular using low-tax Ireland as their European headquarters and routing transactions through the country.

French President Emmanuel Macron campaigned on requiring internet firms to pay taxes to France on the business they conduct in the country.

Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.