French commission calls for another tax crack down

France, a popular destination for British expats, is the latest nation to set out measures to tackle tax management by the wealthy.

A French Senate inquiry committee in to tax evasion has listed a number of proposals aimed at tackling financial management to pay less tax.

The French want a special commission to look at country-by-country accountability for each corporate group.

Eric Bocquet, rapporteur of the committee claimed the French government had so far ignored tax management by the wealthy and corporations.

The committee reckon losses to the treasury are between €40 billion and €50 billion every year, and that at European level, the figure is more likely €1 trillion, five times the European Union (EU) budget.

The French government has recently voted for controversial wealth taxes to plug a €10 billion budget deficit that is dwarfed by the estimated tax loss.

Bocquet agreed the French have tax management laws that are “totally disorganised”.

“Setting up a high commission would provide a foundation against tax evasion,” he said. “Doing so must be in the best interests of the public, so the bodies that already exist to counter tax evasion can operate more effectively.”

The first step is clamping down on multinational companies, by requiring they provide a country-by-country breakdown of their operations in accounts.

France is one of the five European countries that has recently signed up to a cross border agreement with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires foreign financial institutions to report the financial affairs of US taxpayers to the Internal Revenue Service.

The reciprocal agreement will also see two-way traffic of tax information back to France and the other signatory countries from the US.

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