The Constitutional Council ruled that the tax monitoring system on social networks was surrounded by sufficient guarantees for the respect of private life, but restricted its scope. For the rest, most of the government’s 2020 budget proposal has been validated by the Wise Men.
The tax authorities will be able to track down tax evaders on social networks. In its opinion delivered this Friday evening, the Constitutional Council authorized most of this controversial measure of the finance bill, however slightly restricting its scope. “The legislator accompanied the criticized device with specific guarantees to ensure, between the right to respect for private life and the objective of constitutional value of the fight against fraud and tax evasion, a reconciliation that is not unbalanced”, consider the Wise Men in their decision.
However, the latter censored one of the seven cases of application of this digital tracking tool, which aims in particular to identify hidden activities or fictitious tax domiciliations. Thus it will not be possible to use this monitoring system for the cases of taxpayers guilty of a failure to report and already under formal notice. In addition, the Constitutional Council marked its vigilance on this highly commented measure, announcing that it would examine it again in 3 years at the end of the experimentation period, to ensure that the strict conditions adopted for the guarantee of respect for private life have been respected.
This decision of the Constitutional Council was eagerly awaited, in view of the debate surrounding article 57 of the 2020 finance bill. This therefore provides for experimentation for three years with the collection by the tax authorities and customs of personal data. made public on sites such as Facebook, Instagram or Leboncoin, for the purpose of combating fraud. Announced in November 2018 by the Minister of Action and Public Accounts, Gérald Darmanin, this experiment should come to enrich the tax request software, which wants to rely more and more on artificial intelligence to better target controls . It should, for example, make it possible to detect signs of a standard of living that is inadequate with declared income or fictitious domiciliations abroad.
Pinned by the CNIL (National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms), this measure sparked an outcry from the opposition and embarrassed the majority who watered down the project during scrutiny in Parliament. Several amendments limited this detection to the most serious offenses (hidden activities, fictitious tax domiciliations, illicit trafficking).
Mostly validated budget
For the rest, the finance bill has been validated in broad outline by the Constitutional Council. Including the total disappearance of the housing tax by 2023 for the 20% of French people who still pay it. The LR senators and deputies, as well as the socialist deputies, had all seized the Constitutional Council on this question, and in particular on the compensation of revenues for local communities. These provisions were, however, “deemed compliant” by the Constitutional Council. What to rejoice Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of Action and Public Accounts, and Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of Finance, who welcomed in a press release the fact that “Most of the provisions have been declared in conformity with the Constitution, and in particular the massive tax cuts”.
However, they will have to rework a few points, and in particular the levy that had been introduced on transfer duties for consideration (notary fees) collected by the departments of Île-de-France, in order to finance the establishment. audience of the Société du Grand Paris. This article was censored not on the merits, but because it had no place in the finance law (budget jumper). The government will therefore have to find another legislative window to adopt the measure.