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the departure of wealthy taxpayers abroad does not slow down

Expatriations among households earning more than 100,000 euros per year continue to rise. Departures concern nearly 1% of the wealthiest taxpayers.

Every year, several thousand wealthy taxpayers leave France. According to the annual report from the Ministry of Finance, sent to the Les Républicains chairman of the Finance Committee, Gilles Carrez, departures abroad among households with a reference tax income of over 100,000 euros continued to rise in 2014, the latest year for which these data are available. The tax authorities recorded more than 4,100 departures among these households, a further increase of 10 % in one year.

More precise data

The subject of many fantasies and endless debates, tax exile is difficult to grasp insofar as the register of French nationals living abroad is not exhaustive, as registration is not compulsory. More reliable, the data provided by the tax authorities do not reflect the real motivations for expatriation, given that surveys carried out by consular networks most often show that it is professional opportunities that drive French people to leave.

Bercy data, published since 2012 and going back as far as 2007, are beginning to provide sufficient hindsight to gain a better understanding of this phenomenon. Continuously on the rise since 2007, departures clearly accelerated from 2011 onwards (there were only 1,330 departures in 2010), even if this is far from the mass exodus sometimes denounced by the opposition. Each year, expatriation represents around 0.6 % of households earning over 100,000 euros. But given the concentration of income tax, the phenomenon can already have an impact on tax revenues. These households account for almost 38 % of income tax revenues. And the effect is cumulative.

Fewer departures by the wealthiest among us

At the wealthiest taxpayers The number of departures fell slightly in 2014. Among households with incomes over 300,000 euros, there were 589 departures in 2014, compared with 659 in 2013. This represents just over 1 % of households in this income bracket. Here too, the long-term trend is rather upward, since between 2007 and 2010, the administration recorded between 130 and 170 departures each year. In 2014, France even lost some very high earners: 127 among households earning more than 700,000 euros, including 75 in the over 1 million euros income category.

A similar trend can be observed among ISF taxpayers. Among those with assets in excess of 1.3 million euros, departures fell slightly in 2014, from 815 to 784, but had risen from 10 % to 20 % per year since 2011. Every year, these departures cause France to lose between 15 and 30 million euros in ISF revenue. Of the taxpayers who left in 2014, over 60 % declared a reference tax income in excess of 100,000 euros, which gives an idea of the "tax substance" that evaporates in this way. Around 20 % declared a net worth in excess of 4.5 million euros. Among ISF taxpayers, there was a parallel increase in returns (300 in 2014, compared with 225 in 2013), but they yielded less for the public purse: just 2.4 million in 2014.

Stabilization among entrepreneurs

The final indicator for measuring tax exile is the number of "exit tax" declarations, a tax recreated in 2011 that applies to all taxpayers. capital gains of potential expatriates. Initially, its aim was to limit the temporary exile of company directors wishing to sell their holdings under more advantageous tax conditions. It subsequently became a tax aimed at the wealthiest taxpayers tempted to leave for tax reasons.

Here again, the underlying trend is confirmed: after a sharp increase in 2012 and 2013, the number of departures stabilized in 2014, at around 400 declarations. This means that, cumulatively over four years, the administration recorded almost 1,400 departures, most of them company directors. Nearly 70 % of them declared a tax income of over 100,000 euros.


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