Taxes: the powers of the tax authorities soon to be extended?

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Since 2020, the tax authorities have had a tool to collect data on taxpayers’ social networks. Indeed, following the adoption that year of Article 154 of the Finance Act, the Directorate General of Public Finances (DGFIP) is able to collect data “freely accessible from social networks” to fight more effectively against tax evasion until 2024.

However, for the Senate, these powers are insufficient and would not make it possible to fight sufficiently effectively since the measure only concerns publications visible on social networks without any registration. In any case, this is what the Chamber of Parliament reveals in a report on the “fight against fraud and tax evasion”, focusing on the measures used by the tax authorities since 2018.

“As part of the experiment, the agents of the DGFiP and Customs therefore only have access to content made freely accessible by their users”, castigates the report. “It is proposed [..] that DGFiP and Customs officers can collect and analyze publicly accessible data on online platforms, and no longer only those that are freely accessible”.

If the difference is not clearly visible at first glance, it is actually a significant change. If this measure were to be adopted, the agents could thus collect the data accessible to any user having an account until 2026, reports La Dépêche.

Currently, tax officials can already access a lot of data on social networks. For example, if a French taxpayer posts a photograph of his new swimming pool on one of his social networks and it has never been declared to taxes, he could well be pinned.

“Since the 2020 finance law, the tax authorities have access to unstructured data, collected through the publications of social network users, which they will analyze themselves”, analyzes Bastien Le Querrec, member of the association. defense of rights on the Internet La Quadrature du Net, interviewed by our colleagues from La Dépêche.

In the eyes of the member of the association, this measure could present risks for users of social networks. “The risk is neither the resale of data, which the tax authorities do not do, or a possible hack which remains unlikely, but the mass surveillance generated by this device”, he believes.

For the time being, such a law is not topical, but the proposal of the Senate report could perhaps take the form of a bill in the coming months, before being submitted to the votes of parliamentarians. .