Budget 2023: a slight shave on the tax loopholes

Posted Sep 27, 2022, 6:15 AMUpdated on Sep 27, 2022 at 9:16 am

The big sweep in the tax loopholes will not take place. Well, not right away. Bruno Le Maire himself regretted it on Monday, presenting the draft budget for 2023 to the deputies of the Finance Committee. “We can do more, we can do better,” conceded the Minister of the Economy. “We have been trying for six years, there is room for manoeuvre,” he continued. In fact, the text of the finance bill only provides for the elimination of six “tax expenditures”, of which “five have no longer had any budgetary impact for several years”.

“Continuing the clarification and simplification of the tax system, the government is renewing the now regular exercise of eliminating inefficient tax expenditures, by proposing to eliminate six additional tax expenditures. It also proposes a program for the evaluation of certain tax expenditures,” reads the budget document presented on Monday.

Tax credit

In the viewfinder, the tax reduction for guardians of unemployed people who create or take over a business, the tax reduction for cash subscriptions to the capital of an approved artisanal fishing financing company (Sofipeche) or even the system for spreading the short-term capital gains made by maritime fishing companies on the sale of fishing vessels or co-ownership shares in such vessels before 31 December 2010.

Bercy also proposes to put an end to the temporary exemption from corporation tax in favor of companies created in Corsica in the sectors of crafts, industry, hotels, construction and public works, and the tax system at the rate of 10% of income from non-patented patentable inventions.

Also in the hot seat, the tax credit for master restaurateurs, which benefited 610 companies and weighed 2 million euros in the 2020 budget.


Monday, during the hearing of the ministers of Bercy, Eric Coquerel (LFI) criticized the lack of ambition of the government. “Touching inefficient tax loopholes is not up to the challenge, it has nothing to do with what a review of the research tax credit would be”, launched the chairman of the Finance Committee.

The research tax credit (CIR), which is granted to SMEs and multinationals – TotalEnergies revealed that it reached 70 million euros – is indeed the subject of numerous criticisms, even though it costs more than 6 billion euros per year. The Court of Auditors itself has raised the idea of ​​a ceiling.

Bruno Le Maire repeated his opposition to a measure that would undermine this system. “The CIR seems important to me for innovation”, he hammered before the deputies. While he is in favor of a “greening” of the CIR, a certain number of obstacles remain to be resolved.

Other avenues for eliminating tax loopholes will be examined during the debate in Parliament, also recalled Gabriel Attal, the Minister Delegate for Public Accounts. The mission entrusted to Daniel Labaronne (Renaissance) brought up proposals on certain systems and in particular on zoning.

Bercy’s last attempt to tackle the niches, in 2019, had not been very successful. “Experience shows the difficulty of implementing their abolition,” said the High Council of Public Finances this summer, in the very critical opinion given on the executive’s budget forecasts.

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