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France Set To Unveil Revamped 'Super Tax'

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

05 February 2013

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici has recently announced the government's intention to unveil details of its new plans for a tax on the country's top earners, revealing that the new tax will be applied to conjugal or joint household income.

In the next two to three weeks the government's position on the tax will be made known, Moscovici said, confirming that details are to be released by the end of February.

Highlighting the need to avoid the risk of a new censuring of the tax by the country's Constitutional Court, Moscovici insisted that he would remain "close to the principles defined by the Court," for example by ensuring that the tax in question is imposed on conjugal or spousal income.

Moscovici underlined the need to maintain the measure, and to retain the spirit of the tax, given the efforts currently demanded of French citizens, arguing that it is simply "logical" that those who earn lots of money make an "exceptional effort for an exceptional period of time." The French finance minister nevertheless failed to provide any further details, notably as to whether or not the 75% tax rate would be maintained.

On December 29, 2012, France's Constitutional Court censured the planned 75% tax on annual income in excess of EUR1m (USD1.3m), emblematic of French President François Hollande's presidential election campaign, and symbolizing the Socialist government's efforts to guarantee fiscal justice while redressing the public finances.

The Court ruled that the government had not taken into consideration ability to pay as the tax was due to be levied on individuals rather than to apply per household, thereby breaching the principle of equality before public charges.

TAGS: individuals | Wealth | Finance | tax | tax rates | France | individual income tax

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