Tax gaps greater than 100 billion euros in 2018

Tax gaps have increased again this year. So much so that for the first time they exceeded the figure of 100 billion euros in 2018. This is in any case what Bercy provides, in a note to which "Les Echos" had access. According to the Treasury, the amount of tax breaks would reach 100.4 billion euros, or about 4.4% of GDP. This is slightly more than the government's forecasts, but above all this amount is 7 billion euros higher than in the previous year.

Tax gaps greater than 100 billion euros in 2018

The impressive rise of 2018 is explained "Essentially due to the impact of the tax credit on competitiveness and employment (CICE), an increase of 4.4 billion euros, due to the transition of the rate from 6% to 7%, and the € 1.1 billion increase of the tax credit for the employment of a home-working employee »according to the Treasury.

Difficult not to worry about this increase in the tax benefits granted by the state to some taxpayers, because it is primarily a significant deficit for finances again showing a deficit of 2, 6% of GDP this year. On the other hand, tax loops are also an instrument of economic policy and they represent less tax deductions, which can benefit growth.

Criticism of the Court

Successive governments often sing the air of hunting for tax breaks. For example, the reduction of wealth tax (and now the property tax on real estate) in the case of investments in SME capital was abolished last year. And in the financial account of 2019 the intention is to terminate the reduced rate for non-road diesel. But no manager has so far really succeeded in reducing the number of tax breaks. Probably because, as MP LR Gilles Carrez noted ten years ago, "A dog is biting in every niche". Since 2012, the sum of the tax benefits has even increased by 28 billion euros, mainly because of the CICE, the research tax credit (CIR), which is the second largest tax niche. The Court of Auditors, which earned 457 different tax benefits in 2018, is particularly strict against the State. She felt that last spring "The involvement of the administration is reduced and the proposals for changes or deletions of tax breaks are virtually non-existent, in particular due to insufficient evaluation". She felt that "Only certain expenses are evaluated and the measurement and monitoring tools that are used to monitor their efficiency are defective".

A decline is expected next year

The decline should start in 2019, the year in which Bercy expects tax breaks of € 98.4 billion. "The total cost of tax expenditures would fall by 2 billion euros in 2019, mainly due to the decrease in the costs of the Energy Transition Capital (ISCED) by 950 million euros, the decrease in CICE of 480 million euros, as well as the transition to the uniform flat-rate levy (PFU) ", according to the Bercy note. The reduction of fiscal loopholes may therefore be on the way, which would be a first since 2013.

Guillaume de Calignon

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