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EWB debate: Tax secrecy remains very well kept

A hundred left-wing parliamentarians have asked the government to publish the impact of tax measures on the rich to inform the budget debate.

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EWB debate: Tax secrecy remains very well kept
If, in all parts of world, banking secrecy is receding, tax secrecy still has beautiful days ahead of him. It is not a question of calling into question this "fundamental principle of our tax legislation and of French society", reaffirmed Bruno mayor on Wednesday, 18 October, on reform of Solidarity tax on Fortune (ISF):

On petition of Parliamentarians on ISF: "No question of calling into question tax secrecy" @BrunoLeMaire @lemondefr ClubDeLeco

— AudreyTonnelier (@Audrey Cooper)

The Minister of Economy responded to appeal of a hundred left-wing parliamentarians published in "One" of daily Liberation. This petition, opened on Change.org platform, was signed by some 60 senators and socialist deputies, unsubmissive and communists, and even a centrist, president of Union of Democrats and Independents, Jean-Christophe Lagarde.

Because first budget of Macron era does not end up fuelling controversy. The petition published on Wednesday urges Government to publish impact of its tax measures "on richest French 100". Why 100? Because y will be main recipients of announced tax cuts, wealth being extremely concentrated ... even among richest.

READ ALSO: What changes reform of ISF of Emmanuel Macron?

Assuring that he would respond to requests of "all those who want additional figures," Bruno mayor recalled that an assessment of impact of tax reforms was expected in two years. Except that parliamentarians would like to have simulations before voting for or against budget ...

A leak from duck chained on Wednesday revealed that such simulations exist since Bruno mayor and his budget colleague, Gérald Darmanin, have received two notes from tax Legislation branch on impact of ISF reform and introduction of The flat tax (which standardizes and lowers tax on capital income: rent, dividends, gains ...). But y have so far been able to communicate results.

Sensitive data

Such a transparency exercise would involve opening a portion of ISF data to public, with sensitive data on which Ministry of Economy wants to keep hand. Moreover, previous majority (of which a party signs this appeal) had already not had (or wanted to have) reason for culture of secrecy of officials of Bercy.

Intended to "protect taxpayers", tax secrecy is defined in Penal Code, in article 226-3, as a "professional secrecy". Its violation is punishable by one year's imprisonment and a fine of 15 000 euros. "Professional secrecy [is] intended to protect interests of individuals (...)." The employee must keep him or her in administration, including his or her supervisor, tax administration's guide to Ethics. However, derogations are foreseen in context of proper functioning of services.

But rule is inflexible outside department. In 2016, Department of Finance filed a complaint for breach of tax secrecy following publication by chained Duck of a registered list of fifty taxpayers who received a significant reduction in ir ISF.

In Face of a crime or an offence, official must, however, derogate from professional secrecy to denounce him before justice. It remains that, again, Bercy is holding hands thanks to its precious "lock", a monopoly on criminal charges for tax evasion. In concrete terms, only ministry has right to file a complaint against an individual suspected of tax evasion, a prosecutor or a civil party that cannot.

Read on subject: Tax evasion: What is "Bercy lock"?

Useful figures for debate

Without going up to a list of names, publication of a certain number of data would clarify debate. It is for this reason that we asked m at beginning of year to Valérie R, general rapporteur of budget under François Holland, in this capacity to bring toger conditions for a democratic debate on this issue in assembly.

READ: Transparency on ISF: data lacking in Democratic debate

Without reply, we had arrested Bercy and seized administrative documents access Commission (CADA). Without success: The law guaranteeing access to documents exists but does not require administration to provide documents that would require additional work. Valérie R, Socialist member of Tarn-et-Garonne, is now a signatory to appeal published in Libération.

This secret is all more astonishing as it only applies to richest. Contrary to practice applied for income tax every year since 1915, tax administration has never used to publish annual tabulations showing number of taxpayers per tranche of taxable assets ( Heritages between 1 and 2 million, 2 and 3 million, etc.) , regrets Thomas Piketty (who also has a blog about world. fr). The Economist adds:

In background, technostructure Bercy never liked ISF and idea of transparency on high heritage that goes with it. Bercy, like political world, is locked in a culture of secrecy, imagining undoubtedly that it is a way of preserving power, and does not know how to get out of this gear: less we publish data, more we take fear that least new information Be interpreted in a way that is not suitable for m, less it is published, etc. ' Secret of

The interest of breakdown by slice evoked by The Economist, if it was available on a regular basis and not by scattered pieces in various and varied reports, would be to be able to draw more clearly landscape of accounts and safes best garnished of country. And to calculate among those who concentrate savings that y would make with gifts of government. The former minister of economy, Michel fir, has also been looking at amount of se savings for 100 largest beneficiaries last week.

Christophe Castaner, government spokesman, expressed concern about a "manhunt". In fact, concerning 100 first fortunes of hexagon, one knows list of people who make it up. It is refore already possible to reconstitute (roughly) shortfall for state coffers. The chained duck did math for number one in this list, Bernard Arnault, and his 500 million annual dividends: taxed at 30% ("flat tax") instead of 60% ( average of most important income tax on capital), it will cost him more than Half, or 150 million euros, compared to 300 previously.

In addition to fact that it is possible to make simulations of incomes which state will deprive itself of with se reforms, question of tax secrecy also deserves to be asked. Of course, anonymity of tax data remains an accepted principle in almost all countries, but it is discussed: The Economist Gabriel Zucman thus defends on contrary idea of a global financial cadastre including real estate, shares, bonds, shares of Investment funds ...

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