The Minister of Action and Public Accounts pleaded this Thursday at the Medef summer school for an overhaul of the taxation of donations, and promised measures as soon as the government “would have room for maneuver”. The idea is to facilitate intergenerational transfers so that descendants can benefit from funds when they need it most.
On the lawn of the Longchamp racecourse, at the “Rencontres des entrepreneurs de France”, we talked a lot about taxes this Thursday. But it is on a compulsory levy that is not paid by companies but by households that Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of Action and Public Accounts, insisted: that on donations. “I proposed to the President of the Republic a reflection on the taxation of donations for the remainder of the five-year term”, he said, a little more than six months after having pleaded in the same direction before the Senate.
This measure, which Gérald Darmanin has not quantified, will not be included in the next finance bill which will be presented at the end of September. But she will be “As soon as we have room for maneuver”, promised Gérald Darmanin.
On the other hand, there is no question of taxing inheritances more heavily as proposed by the Terra Nova think tank at the beginning of the year, a measure that Emmanuel Macron had already dryly buried a year ago. The French are not in favor of it. And if Gérald Darmanin recognizes that inheritance is a “Breeder of social inequalities”, he believes above all that “Taxing inheritance is a kind of double penalty”. People have indeed already been taxed on their wealth through income tax and other levies. Ten years ago, a certain Nicolas Sarkozy was already making this argument.
We inherit later and later
Why facilitate donations? With the increase in life expectancy, households inherit later and later. On average, in France, people inherit at age 50 today, eight years older than in 1980. And, especially with the rise in property prices, the oldest are now the richest. In 1986, the median net wealth of those in their thirties was 45% higher than that of those over 70. Thirty years later, it is three times lower, according to a study by France Stratégie. However, it is around the age of 30 or 40 that the need for money is important, whether it is to buy housing, provide for the needs of children or even start one’s own business.
“Transmission to young people makes it possible to unlock certain financing constraints and they promote productive investment “, Argued France Strategy. The study also pointed out the lack of tax interest of the donation for the majority of households. The reduction of 100,000 euros on inheritance to children ensures that no tax will be paid on the death of parents in 85% of cases.
Donation duties are expected to bring in 2.4 billion euros this year. They had been lightened by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, before the crisis pushed his government then that of François Hollande to toughen the scale in 2011 and 2012. “I am quite seduced by what Nicolas Sarkozy and François Fillon had done” twelve years ago, recognized this Thursday Gerald Darmanin.