Declaration of income: a spring ritual

EIt comes back every year with spring and concerns millions of French people. The tax return must be completed before midnight May 22 in its paper form, while the online version must be finalized between April 13 and June 8, depending on the department of residence.

For many, it will only be a question of checking the figures communicated by the tax authorities on a pre-filled document. For others, the exercise will be a little more complex. A task dreaded by some, who experience this formality with anguish.

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However, the ritual has been greatly simplified in recent years. The pre-filled declaration, implemented in 2006, the possibility of correcting errors or omissions make the exercise less stressful. The taxpayer is also less subject to unpleasant surprises. He has a relatively precise idea of ​​the amount of tax he will have to pay as soon as he has validated his online form. Not to mention that the withholding tax, which was introduced in 2019, makes it possible to pay contributions throughout the year.

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The withholding tax was presented as a gas plant or as an attack on the confidentiality of his personal situation vis-à-vis his employer, and sometimes considered devastating for the psychology of households undergoing a cut in their wages.

However, it has quietly settled into the French landscape. To the point that no one today questions it. However, while this system has achieved its objective – to simultaneously match the amount of tax to that of income – it has not solved all the problems.

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The first Tax Meetings, which The world organizes, Tuesday, April 11, with Le Cercle des fiscalistes, in partnership with Lefebvre Dalloz, aim to take stock of the withholding tax, more than four years after its introduction.

Although the reform was implemented smoothly, it left a number of questions unanswered. The government has, for example, announced that, from 2025, the tax withheld at the base on wages will, by default, be individualized within couples. A measure which should make it possible to correct inequalities of treatment when one spouse has lower income than the other.

But should we not go further, in order to take into account societal changes? More generally, what future for income tax, when it no longer represents the main source of State revenue? A simple technical measure aimed at simplifying tax collection, the withholding tax will not dispense with real tax reform. Desired by economists, it still does not seem relevant.

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