Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

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French budget 2013: IREF moves to appeal to the Constitutional Council

IREF has examined the provisions of the French government’s 2013 budget proposal, and concludes that these are confiscatory and arbitrary. Henceforth taxpayers will be subject to taxation on revenues of which they do not dispose, and forced to pay taxes that are above the corresponding incomes. Under these circumstances, IREF will endeavour to facilitate an appeal on this kind of taxation through a petition to the Constitutional Council.

The text of the 2013 budgetary proposal includes a limitation on income and wealth taxes. However, this limitation has been disfigured to the point of emptying it of its substance. The new provisions of the proposed law are grounded on a fiscal base which is so large that the limitation will not be applicable to those who pay income taxes.

The various provisions in effect imply that taxpayers from now on will be taxed on incomes over which they do not dispose, they will have to pay taxes above their actual revenues and liquidate assets in order to pay the wealth tax.

Capital incomes (untaxed as long as they are not distributed) will be taken into account, as well as profits in family businesses where the taxpayers hold shares above 25 per cent. These undistributed dividends will thus be regarded as already cashed.

Therefore, the overall taxation will reach dizzying heights, with some 85 per cent for stock-options and free shares, and more than 100 per cent on capital gains from building lots, starting in 2015. This is known as plunder.

Considering that the budget proposal was voted by the National Assembly on Friday 19 October, and that the Socialist government holds a comfortable majority in the Senate, there is no doubt that the law will be adopted. IREF will thus prepare a petition to the Constitutional Council. Failing this, the Supreme Court which has the ability to judge cases concerning the wealth tax, may be called upon to enforce its jurisprudence in terms of the European Court of Human Rights which defends the individual rights to protection against expropriation.

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