The General Directorate of Public Finances is preparing a restructuring of its network which goes hand in hand with the digitization of its services. In 2019, only two-thirds of taxpayers reported their income online.

During an inter-union demonstration of public finance staff, in defense of the DGFIP and against job cuts.

The tax administration has long played a pioneering role in the digitization of public services, with all the difficulties that this can pose in terms of user support. The movement was launched more than fifteen years ago with the online declaration of income, first prompted by a tax rebate, then gradually made compulsory since 2016. With the key, significant savings for the State and less risk of error, since the declaration is pre-filled according to the information provided by the employer or the banks.

For the first time in 2019, taxpayers were required to report online, with the exception of those without internet access. One would have expected a surge in the number of online declarations, but their growth was finally in line with the same trend as in previous years.

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In total, 25 million taxpayers declared their income on the Internet in the spring, or 2 million more than in 2018. This represents two thirds of tax households, while it is estimated in France that 85% of households have access to the Internet. The administration was undoubtedly indulgent in the year of the implementation of the withholding tax. But this figure shows that a significant part of the population is not ready for “all digital”.

Network restructuring

This development goes hand in hand with the generalization of electronic payment and the reduction in the number of treasuries. Payments in cash and by check are now prohibited for amounts over 300 euros.

This is only a first step before a much deeper restructuring of the tax network, recommended by the Court of Auditors in a report published a year ago. With this in mind, the General Directorate of Public Finances (DGFIP) will entrust tobacconists with cash and bank card collections from 2020. An evolution denounced by the unions of Bercy, who are worried about“A project to deconstruct services sold as a ‘revisited geography’ or a ‘local deconcentration’”.

In June, the Director General presented a map of the locations of his administration by 2022 with a view to consultation with local elected officials. This new organization involves a drastic reduction in the number of treasuries, in favor of permanence in public service houses ensuring the follow-up of other administrative procedures (CAF, CPAM, etc.). “Management wants to believe that this is a relocation of public services, but it is not at all the case. If we only retain the permanent contact points, this is a real step backwards “, denounces Philippe Grasset, secretary general of FO Finances.

Worried about a “Decrease in terms of human and budgetary resources”, unions are calling for a day of action on September 16 to demand the withdrawal of this project. During the public finance orientation debate in July at the Assembly, the Minister of Action and Public Accounts, Gérald Darmanin, suggested that the services of Bercy would contribute two-thirds to the 15,000 job cuts planned for the state over the five-year term.