France's Macron to Crack Down on Executives Avoiding Taxes
(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron’s government is cracking down on executives who avoid paying taxes in France as part of efforts to quell Yellow Vests protesters.
The French government is scrutinizing the tax situation of business leaders and will take measures to force them to pay their taxes in France if necessary, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.
“Heads of listed businesses or businesses in which the state has a stake must absolutely be French tax residents,” Darmanin said in the interview.
The government has resisted demands from many Yellow Vests protesters to reinstate the wealth tax, which Macron abolished when he became president. Darmanin said efforts to make executives pay tax in France should encourage more “civic” behavior.
But making all executives pay tax in France will not be simple as it could require renegotiating tax conventions.
“It would take years and we aren’t necessarily in a position of force to impose our views,” Olivier Grenon-Andrieu, head of wealth advisory firm Equance, told Le Journal du Dimanche.
There are signs that the Yellow Vests movement may be losing steam. The seventh Saturday of protests in the capital drew only 800 people to “sporadic” gatherings, Paris police said. Some protesters have said they will take to the streets again Monday amid New Year’s Eve celebrations, when Macron is expected to deliver an address to the nation.
As tax cuts for households come into effect in January, Macron has also promised a national debate on democracy and public spending. The government hopes this will calm the protests and rebuild trust in the country’s institutions.
“The President has called for a big debate, and that’s a very good thing,” Darmanin said.
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