Lhe G7 ministers announced on Saturday June 5 their intention to apply a minimum tax rate of 15% on the offshore profits of multinationals. Let’s be clear: if we leave it there, it is nothing more or less the formalization of a real license to defraud for the most powerful players.
For small and medium-sized businesses as well as for the popular and middle classes, it is impossible to create a subsidiary to relocate its profits or its income in a tax haven. For all these taxpayers, there is no other choice than to pay the ordinary tax. However, if we add tax on income and profits and social security contributions, both small and medium-sized employees and self-employed people find themselves paying in all G7 countries rates well above 15%: at least 20%. % -30%, and often 40-50%, or even more.
The G7 announcement falls all the more badly as the ProPublica site has just published a vast survey confirming what researchers had already shown: American billionaires pay almost no income tax compared to the extent of their wealth. and what the rest of the population pays.
In practice, income tax is often the final tax paid by the richest (when they pay it). Profits accumulate in companies or ad hoc structures (trusts, holdings, etc.), which finance most of the lifestyle of the people in question (private jets, bank cards, etc.), almost without any control. .
By acknowledging the fact that multinationals will be able to continue to locate their profits at leisure in tax havens, with the only tax rate of 15%, the G7 formalizes the entry into a world where the oligarchs pay structurally less taxes than the G7. rest of the population.
How to get out of this impasse ? First, by setting a minimum rate higher than 15%, which each country can do now. As the European Tax Observatory has shown, France could apply a minimum rate of 25% on multinationals, which would bring it 26 billion euros per year, or the equivalent of nearly 10% of expenditure. health. With a rate of 15%, barely higher than the rate applied in Ireland (12.5%), which makes the measure harmless, the revenue would be barely 4 billion.
Part of the 26 billion could be used to better finance hospitals, schools, energy transition, another to reduce taxes on the self-employed and less prosperous employees.
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