In terms of timing, we could hardly do worse. While in France the executive pulled off a 10 billion euro reduction in corporate taxes from its majority at the end of 2020, the United States and the United Kingdom are now taking the opposite path. And that an international consensus is emerging to put an end to decades of tax competition.
France, which in 1981 brought to power a socialist president when the Anglo-Saxon world engaged in a vast movement of liberalization of the economy, would it be again out of time?
Against all expectations, the Covid-19 has brought tax increases back into fashion. In recent weeks, the new US administration has confirmed its intention to raise the corporate tax rate by a third – from 21% to 28% – in order to finance its gigantic $ 2 trillion investment plan. (€ 1,680 billion) in infrastructure. Better still: it now supports the establishment of a minimum corporate tax on a global scale. Goal : “End the race for zero tax. “
For his part, defying an electorate rather hostile to corporate taxation, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given up on making his country a tax haven and presented the country, in March, with a bitter potion. He who had promised not to increase the levies announced to raise the corporate tax from 19% to 25% by 2023, which should bring in up to 20 billion pounds (23.2 billion euros ) per year to the State. It does not spare households – a freeze on the income tax schedule is also planned.
This upward movement, which partly finds its source in the explosion in public spending caused by the crisis linked to Covid-19, will it be emulated? Nothing is less sure. “The big difference with the United States and England, is that they massively vaccinated [leur population] and see their economy pick up again while France is still in the “whatever the cost” “, explains Jérôme Fourquet, director of the opinion and corporate strategies department of IFOP.
Above all, France is still engaged in a trajectory of lower levies inherited from the presidential campaign of 2017, which was to allow it to align with the large Western States. Over the past three years, Emmanuel Macron has orchestrated the gradual decline in the corporate tax rate – then one of the highest in the world – from 33% to 25% by 2022. This promise came s ” add, at the end of 2020, the elimination of part of “production taxes”, these taxes very criticized by companies because they weigh on their turnover, their land or their added value. A gesture of 10 billion euros per year presented in the recovery plan as the weapon of the “Industrial reconquest” in the midst of a health crisis.
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