Digital tax from May 2021: Fees for Google Ads in Spain & France

by Karo
March 8, 2021

Google has already been charging a digital tax for ads in Turkey, Austria and the United Kingdom since November 2020. Now, charges will also be added for ads delivered in Spain and France.

2% surcharges from May 2021

In France and in Spain, the level of surcharges is 2% in each case. These “Legal Operating Costs” will be listed as a separate line item on your bill starting in May 2021. Google justifies this with additional costs incurred due to the newly introduced digital tax in the respective countries.

Digital tax in France and Spain

France has already introduced the digital tax in June 2019. This is aimed at large companies that generate their profits from digital activities. Companies with an annual global turnover of more than 750 million euros and in France of more than 25 million euros will be taxed. For example, Facebook, Amazon and Google.
Spain has also followed suit and introduced such a digital tax from the beginning of 2021. Here, companies will be taxed that also achieve annual global sales of more than 750 million euros – and 3 million annual sales in Spain.

Digital tax also in Germany?

In March 2018, the European Commission proposed the introduction of a digital tax. Is such a tax now also threatening Germany? So far, a digital tax has been discussed again and again in Germany, but no agreement has been reached yet. It is possible, however, that the German federal elections in the fall of 2021 will bring some movement to this issue.

Overview of the digital tax surcharges decided so far in the countries:

Name Amount of surcharges from when?
Turkey Legal operating costs 5% November 2020
Austria Digital tax 5% November 2020
United Kingdom Digital tax 2% November 2020
France Legal operating costs 2% May 2021
Spain Legal operating costs 2% May 2021
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