Tuesday, January 22, 2013

French Socialist Government Comes Up With Crazy Plan to Tax Facebook Users as Employees

French President Hollande’s mega-tax hikes for the rich were struck down by the court, but not before they drove some of France’s wealthiest businessmen out of the country. Now even more desperate for cash, the biggest loser of Europe has come up with another plan so crazy that it’s bound to work.
French president François Hollande has an idea. In a report, Hollande argues the French government should tax Internet companies like Google and Facebook based on their collection of personal data about their users.
The report published Friday said a tax on data collection was justified on grounds that users of services like Google and Facebook are, in effect, working for these companies without pay by providing the personal information that lets them sell advertising.
The report says tax rates would be based on the number of users an Internet firm tracked, to be verified by outside auditors.
Since the users are “working” without pay, then they wouldn’t be taxed. Yet. For now this is directed at companies. However since users do receive benefits from using free services such as Facebook and YouTube, the logic in this report would then justify taxing the users for the cost of that benefit.
The insanity began when states began treating affiliates as employees. That at least had some legal logic behind it because a transaction was occurring. This is no different than taxing a television network based on the number of people who watch it.
If individuals whose information is collected for advertising purposes are actually unpaid employees, then nearly every advertising or research company has tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of employees.
This is yet another unserious and illegal gimmick from a desperate Socialist government trying to figure out a way to raise money to fund all its crazy promises. When it isn’t trying to seize property from the Catholic Church to house homeless people, it’s trying to tax the entire internet.
Hollande began crashing and burning from Day 1. Every month that his government remains in power, it finds new ways to embarrass itself at home and abroad.

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