“It would be extremely profitable”: a parliamentary report recommends strengthening the fight against tax evasion

“It would be extremely profitable”: a parliamentary report recommends strengthening the fight against tax evasion

2023-11-21 00:25:32

Faced with tax evasion, the government’s efforts are “insufficient”. This is in any case what is affirmed by a parliamentary report which recommended strengthening the fight against tax evasion in France, by also granting it more resources. Despite the anti-fraud plan presented in the spring by the executive, “the results of the tax audit remain mediocre, the staff and resources allocated to this mission remain insufficient”, tackles this report written by special rapporteur Charlotte Leduc (LFI ).

The MP speaks of “derisory measures” in the face of a fraud which she estimates between 80 to 120 billion euros. During a press conference, Ms. Leduc pleaded for “massive investments” in this fight against fraud. “It would be extremely profitable. This would make it possible to bring in considerable revenue” in particular in favor of the ecological transition and the “social emergency”. There is no official estimate of the amount of tax fraud in France. To remedy this, the government launched in October a Fraud Evaluation Council responsible for quantifying these phenomena.

The report, which emphasizes the international dimension of the fight against tax fraud, calls on France to “be at the forefront” in terms of tax diplomacy, “a question of political will”. It calls for increasing the minimum tax on corporate profits to 25% (compared to 15% currently), which is gradually being rolled out across the world after the conclusion of an international agreement under the aegis of the OECD at the end of 2021. .

Concerning the assets of billionaires, he calls for the vote on a parliamentary resolution so that “France defends the creation of a European tax” at 2%. The document recommends more firmness towards tax havens and a tightening of measures surrounding “transfer pricing”, these cross-border transactions between subsidiaries of multinationals aimed at reducing profits and therefore taxes. He also proposes the establishment of unitary taxation for multinationals as well as the strengthening of tax intelligence.

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Data mining criticized

In France, the report is concerned about an “alarming drop in staff” within the General Directorate of Public Finances (DGFiP) which the 1,500 additional positions promised by the government by 2027 will not be able to compensate for. Customs must also be “strengthened”. The development of new technologies such as data mining (mass data processing) “must not be to the detriment of strengthening human expertise”, he insists, also pleading for a common database for the different anti-fraud services.

The amounts collected by the tax authorities after tax audit reached 14.6 billion euros in 2022. Sums that the use of new technologies has not increased significantly. “Data mining must be a tool at the service” of controllers, underlined Charlotte Leduc. “Data mining and artificial intelligence have been experimented with at the DGFiP for a little over eight years and the profitability is not there. These are essentially low-yield deals that are exited by these algorithms. » Data mining software is also provided by private companies, which poses “a problem in terms of sovereignty and security”, she estimated.

This is the second annual report on tax evasion written by Charlotte Leduc, responsible for a “transversal mission” on the subject. None of the recommendations in the previous version have been implemented, she points out. On November 15, the Court of Auditors called on the government to define, by the end of 2024, a strategy for detecting tax fraud among individuals, an underdeveloped area of ​​its anti-fraud plan.

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