What does Emmanuel Macron want to do with the levy at the source? The question arises, even if the new Head of State is in favor of it on principle. Because it has been very fluctuating on the timetable for implementation. Shortly before his election, he explained on RTL that “in any case” the reform would not be applied on January 1, 2018, as stipulated by the law adopted at the end of last year. “I want to be sure of the burden that this represents for business leaders (…).
We need to understand the impact this will have on our fellow citizens psychologically when they receive a pay slip where optically the salary will have declined. (…) These are things that are explained, “he justified.
But taxpayers now expect that their regular income in 2017 will not be taxed. The theoretical tax will be well calculated, but they will benefit from a tax credit of the same amount (excluding exceptional income to avoid tax optimization). After the 2017 tax on 2016 revenues whose notices will be sent this summer, it is the income of 2018 that was to be taxed next year. This Friday, a spokesman for Emmanuel Macron, therefore, backpedaled on LCI to return to the initial position of En Marche! Benjamin Griveaux explained that the president would make a decision only after an “audit” scheduled for June.
The introduction of the sampling at the source entails major risks of industrial crash
“The new Minister of Finance will summon his directors of administration and take stock of the industrial state of the file. We do not launch an operation of this magnitude if there are risks to its proper application because it concerns all taxable households and all businesses “, decrypts the chief economist of En Marche! Jean Pisani-Ferry.
The decision of Emmanuel Macron will also take into account the experimentation of the device, already foreseen by Bercy by July with certain companies. The aim is to verify that the transfer of information between the tax authorities and the undertakings responsible for applying the tax rate at a source which the latter has calculated is without any problem. “It will be an important and complementary element,” explains Jean Pisani-Ferry, who claims some caution. According to him, the final decision on whether to implement the reform in 2018 should fall “before the end of the summer”, “because people want to know on what basis they will be taxed in 2018: on their income in 2017 or On those of 2018 “.
Legal risk of a delay
For Nicolas Jacquot, a lawyer associated with the firm Arsène Taxand, there is indeed a legal risk that the Constitutional Council rejects a possible postponement, under the principle of “legitimate expectation” of taxpayers. For example, an employee at the end of his career who would have decided to extend his business in 2017, knowing that his income for the year would never be taxed after the law was passed. Or another who would have accepted more overtime for the same reasons.
So far, the specialist says, the Constitutional Council authorizes what is likely to be considered as “small retroactivity” tax, but its jurisprudence could change on the basis of a previous opinion of the Council of State. The highest administrative court had reversed the shortening of a tax credit for businesses from three to two years.
According to Nicolas Jacquot, the new government must urgently ask the Conseil d’Etat for its opinion before deciding whether to defer the withholding tax by a simple law after its audit. The referral must take place as soon as possible so that the notice, which can take up to two months, intervenes before the end of August. From September onwards, the pay slips will mention the tax rate reported by the tax authorities to companies. It would then be too late, he said, to backtrack on sampling at the source.
The deployment of the nominative social declaration has not yet been finalized, mainly among the VSEs
On the substance, is there really a risk of the new system of tax collection dysfunctioning? In any case, this is what businesses fear. “The implementation of the withholding tax on 37 million tax households entails major risks of industrial crash denounced, both internally and by the General Directorate of Public Finances”, warns the union of independents, hostile to the principle Of the reform of the levy at source, on the ground that it places the company in a position of intermediary between the tax administration and its employees.
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The organization denounces a “haste in the implementation” in a statement published on Thursday. The deduction at source is based on a nominative social declaration (DSN), a system that allows all social declarations to be completed in a single electronic form, “whose deployment is not yet finalized, TPE, “he argues.
An argument was taken up by the Medef in February, but also by Nicolas Jacquot. “Companies are asking us more and more for specific cases that do not find solutions in the law like that of an incentive payment by a third party outside the company. For us, there will inevitably be major difficulties that deserve an evolution of the text, “explains the lawyer.
More political motives
All these criticisms are firmly rejected by the outgoing budget secretary of state. After the announcement of the postponement last week by Emmanuel Macron, Christian Eckert had indeed written an avenging blog post to ensure that everything was ready for the proper application of the reform. “As if the services of Bercy, the cabinets, and the ministers had not been concerned with technical modalities, computer systems, special cases, experiments to be conducted! As if this ministry was not known (and sometimes dreaded) for his professionalism, “he said.
Christian Eckert even suspected Emmanuel Macron of wanting to postpone the reform beyond 1 January 2018 for purely political reasons. The reduction of the social security contributions envisaged by the president, a priori from January 1, 2018, results in an increase in net salary (partly offset by an increase in CSG) that would be masked by the tax levy on income On the payroll …