It was undoubtedly one of the biggest reforms of the previous five-year term. The withholding tax, on which Gérald Darmanin worked a lot while he was still Minister of Action and Public Accounts, was born in January 2019. Its design, however, recalls the site of the Ministry of Economy, Finance as well as Economic and Digital Sovereignty, pre-dates the election of Emmanuel Macron: this new system is introduced by Law No. 2016-1917 of December 29, 2016 on finance for 2017. After the arrival in the power of the President of the Republic, it was adjusted via article 11 of the law of December 28, 2017 of amending finances for 2017 then by law n ° 2018-1317 of December 28, 2018 of finances for 2019.
The substance of the project remains the same: to allow the State to recover income tax even before the payment of wages or the payment of remuneration. A reform that the French and the French seem to approve, reports Le Parisien on its site.
The automatic payment of social benefits, which some people already call “solidarity at source” appears to be the “logical continuation” of withholding tax. This new reform, indicates RTL radio on its site, aims to simplify the lives of the most economically vulnerable French people. For the time being, it concerns a series of specific aids such as the active solidarity income (RSA) and the APL (personalized housing aid). The executive has indeed made known its desire to experiment, to proceed in stages. It was the Minister of Solidarity, Jean-Christophe Combe, who made the announcement at the beginning of September.
“Only the RSA, the activity bonus and the APL (personalized housing assistance) would be tested initially. This concerns 90% of recipients overall, i.e. nearly 20 million French people”, he said. . The first tests will begin in 2023, in “about ten territories”, specifies the minister.
These two reforms share another point in common: they were presented as projects aimed above all at supporting taxpayers. However, can we really think that this is the sole objective of the State? Not necessarily.
For the economist Jacques Bichot, who has authored several books such as “Last crisis before the apocalypse” (Ring editions, 2021, book in press in collaboration with Jean-Baptiste Giraud), it would be naïve to think that the State does not derives no benefit from these reforms. It is therefore not just a question of making life easier for some (if not most) of the taxpayers.
“For the State, the interest of the deduction at source is obvious… and it can easily be summed up in a single saying: you are never better served than by yourself. With the deduction at source, it is clear that the money does not pass through the accounts of the citizens before arriving in those of the State. This amounts to reducing the circuit and above all it avoids having to recover the sums from people who have already received them. tax becomes more painless, even if it turns out to be less transparent. Because it is less unpleasant, it is also easier to increase the amount of the levies if you wish”, indeed recalls the specialist for whom “the politicians have understood that less visible levies are necessarily more interesting”.
Another interest to note: the State benefits from greater security in terms of recovery. “The automatic payment of the tax to the accounts of the State allows him to ensure that he will indeed recover the desired sums. A bit like a landlord could do with a tenant, for example, using an automated transfer”, observes the economist, who deplores this situation. “It seems to me that we could wish for more transparency in the way taxes are managed in France. Citizens must be considered as responsible individuals and able to realize what is deducted from them”, argues he.
In the case of solidarity at the source too, the State has other ambitions than simply simplifying the lives of vulnerable households. As Capital explains on its site, it is particularly a question of fighting against the non-use of benefits and putting a stop to a certain form of social fraud.
In the first case, explain our colleagues, it is the virtual absence of procedures that would allow French men and women to receive the allowances to which they are entitled and which they do not ask for, for lack of knowing that they can benefit from them. . “It is completely abnormal that 30% of people who are entitled to aid do not claim it”, Jean-Christophe Combe also annoyed when presenting the project.
The second stated objective leaves Jacques Bichot more circumspect. Certain estimates, necessarily difficult to achieve, evoke a social fraud of 45 billion euros per year. But the automatic payment does not make it possible to correct this kind of concern, assures the economist. “Benefits fraud is declaring children that you do not have, saying that you are sick when you are not and taking advantage of the advantages that these situations mechanically generate, to name only these. I do not see how the absence of procedures or proof could change the situation”, he asserts.