Business taxation: The Mayor “very favorable” to a fact-finding mission

Business taxation: The Mayor “very favorable” to a fact-finding mission

The Minister of the Economy, Bruno le Maire, declared himself Friday “very favorable” to the fact-finding mission on the taxation of Cac 40 groups who do not pay corporate tax in France, wanted by Eric Coquerel (LFI), Chairman of the Finance Committee of the National Assembly.

“I am very favorable to it”, affirmed Bruno Le Maire at the end of the Council of Ministers, questioned on the superprofits of the oil group TotalEnergies and on the fact-finding mission which must look into the tax optimization practices used. by companies in order not to pay corporation tax.

“Parliament is in its role when it controls, when it demonstrates transparency, and when it allows to calm the debate”, he added, reiterating however that he was opposed to taxing the superprofits of companies , including Total, which more than doubled its net profit in the second quarter to $5.7 billion.

If this mission “makes it possible to appease the debate a little, to see the reality of the problems rather than systematically having this reflex of taxation and that we look at what is really going on with corporate taxation, that we make the greatest transparency on the subject”, he said, assuring to “see only advantages”.

The rebellious Eric Coquerel, chairman of the Finance Committee at the Assembly, hopes to launch this parliamentary fact-finding mission in September for a period of around six months, he told AFP. “We want to understand why the bigger you are, the less taxes you pay”.

The TotalEnergies group had told AFP that it had paid in France in 2021 a total of 1.9 billion “in taxes, duties and social contributions” but no corporate tax because “the sum of its activities generated a tax result deficit”.

“Me, I absolutely do not believe that Total does not make profits in France. It’s something that has more to do with tax optimization,” says Eric Coquerel.

“It is not normal for SMEs to pay almost 25% tax in France, while the 300 largest companies pay 17% and Cac 40 companies like Total pay zero tax”, lamented the deputy, stressing that the oil group has “3,300 service stations in France, nearly 35,000 people who work there and 25% of its activity (in France)”.

“There is something that does not hold”, underlined Mr. Coquerel. “This is where we will have to work, understand how things are going so that there is greater tax justice and that money comes into the state coffers,” he promised. .

The TotalEnergies logo in April 2022 (AFP/Archives – Astrid VELLGUTH)

At the same time, the chairman of the Finance Committee announced on July 20 that he had “succeeded in obtaining a cross-cutting mission on tax evasion. For five years, we will have a commissioner (LFI deputy Charlotte Leduc) who will work on the tax evasion with the means of the administration”.

Special rapporteur, Charlotte Leduc will sign a report on the subject during the fall budget marathon. Appointed for one year, special rapporteurs are usually renewed from one year to the next.

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