The injustice of the VAT body blow dealt to Mediapart

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Mediapart has been notified by the French tax administration that it must pay a total of 4.1 million euros in an adjustment of its VAT payments over a six-year period between 2008 and 2014. The adjustment comes after Mediapart’s long campaign, finally vindicated by a law introduced in 2014, calling for the discriminatory 20% VAT rate for the online press to be removed and aligned to the 2.1% VAT rate applied to the print-based press. Mediapart, which openly applied the lower VAT rate amid years of discussions over the issue with the administration and government, must now meet the demand for the backpayments immediately, despite an appeal procedure. Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel explains the background to what appears to be a move of vengeance, and appeals here for your support in face of the severe threat now hanging over this independent online journal.

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The decision by the French tax authorities, taken with ministerial approval after a procedure that has lasted almost two years, is illegitimate, unjust and incoherent. That is what we have argued, in vain, during the ultimate appeal we lodged with the senior hierarchy of the tax administration, as set out in a document prepared by Mediapart’s lawyers (and which can be downloaded here).