Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What’s Yours is Theirs’

L’Express’ personal fiance section runs down a list of things that will come under taxation assault in France. Painful and economically stupefying as they are, they don’t appear to produce much in the way of receipts.

Unearned income of all types, we are promised, will eventually be aligned with income tax rates, which is to say a nominal 34,5%. Oh joy, oh rapture.

- Social security sur-tax will be raised to 15,5% from 12,3%
- Tax on income from property will go up to 34,5%, as will capital gains from property sale which were at 32,5%
- Interest of life insurance returns will go up the “sociaux” rate of 15,5%
- Estate taxes will range from 30.5 to 50.5%, with some allowance for subtractions at the low end

This comes before the anticipated 75% income take rate on insufferably high income earners (<€1 Million/per annum) has yet to be announced. This is likely because they’re trying to sort out some sort of “exit tax” for people who take their wealth abroad where someone other than the government can use it. In case you think that all of this is some sort of realignment to “produce a sustainable society” that encourages personal responsibility and savings, employee savings will ONLY be taxed at a rate of 20%. On planet earth, employee retirement savings not only normally goes untaxed, but is incented by exempting it from taxable income. But since you will have less income and fewer earning prospects anyway due to the rise in income taxes generally, you won’t have a chance to save anything anyway. Whatever you have left, should you happen to actually want to shod your children’s feet or buy goods of virtually any durable sort, is subject to a VAT of 19,6%. The truly sick thing about it all is that when VAT was introduced, it was made of the argument that making goods more costly for everyone would create an incentive to save. The most common form of saves, however is subject to a 20% rate. Whatever, taxes were already punitively high, and they don’t think you made that cabbage on your own to begin with. So in conclusion, I hope your move goes smoothly, and that your new neighbors in Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK prove to be friendly, welcoming, and helpful.