Tax fraud: Philippe launches the mission of the Court of Auditors

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe launched Thursday the mission of the Court of Auditors on tax fraud, wanted by Emmanuel Macron, which will aim in particular to establish a solid estimate of this “unbearable attack against the republican pact”.

In a letter addressed to its first president, the former elected socialist Didier Migaud, the head of government specifies that “the main objective” of this investigation is to “draw up an inventory of tax fraud and its amount by proposing an encryption “whose method would allow a follow-up in time, according to this letter of which AFP obtained a copy.

Establish “possible gaps”

The Prime Minister also asks the Court to establish the “possible shortcomings” of the current tools and organization of the State against tax fraud, as well as an update on the international situation and on new forms of fraud, more and more sophisticated. The report should be submitted to him by “early November”, when the 2020 budget is being discussed.

According to the Solidaires Finances Publiques union, 80 to 100 billion euros in taxes, or the equivalent of the French budget deficit, escape the State each year because of fraud, a figure widely repeated in the political and economic debate . But no official estimate exists to corroborate this range, deemed overvalued by Bercy.

“It is clear that we lack an impartial and rigorous look on this subject,” confirms Matignon, welcoming that “someone other than the government is looking into this question to respond to the suspicion expressed during the great debate that we do not do enough “in the fight against tax fraud.

During his post-big national debate press conference at the end of April, Emmanuel Macron announced an audit of the Court of Auditors to fight against “tax injustice” and said he was ready to “go further” on this subject, after the first initiatives taken by the executive and the Parliament in the law of October 2018 (tougher sanctions, end of the Bercy lock, new tax police service, etc.).

A “collective work”

“There is a good chance that the Court will say that we already have a fairly robust arsenal. That does not mean that we can not improve it”, argues Matignon.

By presenting his anti-fraud bill last fall, the Minister of Public Accounts Gérald Darmanin had already committed to launching a “collective work” to “objectify” the amount of fraud, as part of a “observatory” dedicated to the subject.

But this observatory, whose work will have to focus “not only on fraud, but on the fiscal and social shortfall in the broadest sense”, has still not been created at this stage, for lack of agreement on the name. of who is supposed to take the lead.

“The observatory is not intended to be created immediately since part of the mission that we want to entrust to it is superimposed on that of the Court,” said Matignon, specifying that the The evaluation methodology shaped by the Court could eventually be used by this observatory.

To date, only one candidate has officially declared himself to chair the Observatory: the Communist Senator from the North Eric Bocquet, specialist in the subject. His candidacy, to which Bercy said he was in favor, has not yet been validated by Matignon.

(with AFP)