In the face of tax evasion, the government's efforts are "insufficient". This is in any case what is stated in 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," says the report written by special rapporteur Charlotte Leduc (LFI).
The MEP evokes "derisory measures" in the face of a fraud that she estimates at between 80 and 120 billion euros. At a press conference, Ms. Leduc called for "massive investments" in the fight against fraud. "It would be extremely profitable. This would make it possible to bring in considerable revenues" in favour of the ecological transition and the "social emergency". There is no official estimate of the amount of tax evasion in France. To address this, the government launched a Fraud Assessment Council in October to quantify these phenomena.
💸🤓💸I am very proud to have presented my report on the fight against #EvasionFiscale today!
👉It will be online in the coming hours, in the meantime you can find the full presentation conference here 👇https://t.co/7zbo3wZnFU pic.twitter.com/8DUiTZt1mU
— Charlotte Leduc (@CharlotteLeducV) November 20, 2023
The report, which insists on 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 an increase to 25% (from the current 15%) of the minimum tax on corporate profits, which is gradually being rolled out around the world after the conclusion of an international agreement under the aegis of the OECD at the end of 2021.
Regarding the wealth of billionaires, he calls for the vote of a parliamentary resolution so that "France defends the creation of a European tax" up to 2%. The document recommends a tougher stance against tax havens and a tightening of measures surrounding "transfer pricing", cross-border transactions between subsidiaries of multinationals aimed at reducing profits and therefore taxes. It also proposes the introduction of a unitary tax system for multinationals and the strengthening of tax intelligence.
Data mining criticised
In France, the report is concerned about an "alarming decline in staff" within the Directorate General of Public Finances (DGFiP) that the 1,500 additional positions promised by the government by 2027 will not be able to compensate. Customs also need to be "strengthened". The development of new technologies such as data mining "must not be done at the expense of strengthening human expertise", he insists, also pleading for a common database for the various anti-fraud services.
In 14, the amounts collected by the tax authorities after tax audits amounted to €6.2022 billion. Sums that the use of new technologies has not increased significantly. "Data mining must be a tool at the service" of controllers, Leduc said. "Data mining and artificial intelligence have been experimented with at DGFiP for a little over eight years and the profitability is not there. It's basically low-yielding deals that are taken out by these algorithms. Data mining software is also provided by private companies, which poses "a problem in terms of sovereignty and security," she said.
This is the second annual report on tax evasion written by Charlotte Leduc, who is in charge of a "cross-cutting mission" on the subject. None of the recommendations in the previous version have been implemented, she said. On 15 November, the Court of Auditors called on the government to define, by the end of 2024, a strategy for detecting tax fraud among individuals, an axis that is underdeveloped in its anti-fraud plan.