Google, Starbucks, Apple and Ebay are all companies that are being accused of agressive tax avoidance methods (Photos: Reuters)
Google, Starbucks, Apple and Ebay are all companies that are being accused of aggressive tax avoidance methods (Photos: Reuters)

France is cracking down on large companies, which are aggressively avoid paying corporation tax, by forcing them to disclose the details of foreign business activities and tax bills.

One of France's ministry official said that the country will extend draft rules, initially planned only for banks by the European Union (EU), to other large companies in order to present aggressive corporate tax avoidance, demonstrated by Google, Amazon and Apple.

"Our aim is to extend to large companies the requirement to disclose activities abroad country-by-country," said the official to Reuters.

"Just to give an example this would make sure that a company cannot declare no revenue in France while having hundreds of staff there and declare a lot of income in the Cayman islands with only one employee."

The official added that it would be up to the EU to decide a date for when the measure would enter into force.

France will introduce the rule, in an amendment to a draft banking law, on Tuesday.

The draft banking law requires banks to report on country-by-country staffing, revenues and taxes paid abroad. France plans to impose the law on major corporations listed on the CAC 40 stock index.

Non-listed companies will also be expected to do the same, says the report.

Companies, such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Starbucks, have entered into the spotlight for paying little or no corporation tax due to aggressive avoidance methods.

For example in the UK, Google only paid £6m (€7m, $9.2m) in corporation tax in 2011, despite recording annual revenues of £2.5bn in Britain that year.

From 2006 to 2011, Google generated £11.8bn in UK revenues.

Google's vice-president for sales and operations in northern and central Europe Matt Brittin is the latest company chief to come under scrutiny from the British government over the tech company's tax avoidance methods.

Last month, UK's opposition party Labour unveiled a five-point plan to tackle tax avoidance, which also included country-by-country reporting.

HMRC has a backlog of around 40,000 tax avoidance cases, which it is investigating, potentially worth £10bn to the UK Treasury, at a time when the government is pursuing an austerity programme of public spending cuts.