French president wants to push to up Internet giants’ taxes on US trip next week

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PARIS – French President Francois Hollande says during his U.S. trip next week he’ll broach the thorny issue of getting Internet companies to pay the tax man like smaller companies do.

Hollande said Thursday that “everyone must be on a level playing field, including on the fiscal level.” He spoke during a visit to the suburban Paris headquarters of an Internet-based sales company paying taxes in France, unlike, for instance, Google whose European tax home is Ireland, where corporate rates are lower.

Hollande, who’s meeting Internet leaders during his trip, said that he and President Barack Obama “agree about making this effort toward fiscal harmonization.” He was referring to a July G-20 finance ministers meeting when the U.S. was among those in favour of narrowing the tax gap.

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