Budget 2020: what could be changed during the scrutiny of deputies

The finance bill for 2020 arrives next Tuesday in the Finance Committee of the National Assembly. End of “fiscal black holes”, abolition of small taxes, research tax credit: the general rapporteur Joël Giraud, an influential figure of the majority, is working on several adjustments to the text.

Joël Giraud, LREM deputy for Hautes-Alpes, also wants to amend the mechanism for removing the tax advantage for non-road diesel.

It will soon be gone for the traditional two and a half months of budget marathon. From next Tuesday, the Finance Committee of the National Assembly will examine the finance bill (PLF) for 2020, the adoption of which is scheduled for December. Even if the members of the majority agree that it is not about a “transformation budget”, the text nevertheless contains enough novelties to whet the appetite for amendments of the deputies, in particular those of Joël Giraud, the rapporteur of the budget of the Assembly.

Small review of the changes that could be driven by the influential LREM deputy from Hautes-Alpes:

· The end of “fiscal black holes”

The Court of Auditors showed, in a report in May, that one in three tax loopholes was not quantified in the budget. For some of them, we do not know the number of beneficiaries either. This is what Joël Giraud calls “fiscal black holes”. He wants to put an end to it by tabling a deletion amendment for some forty niches for which neither the cost nor the number of beneficiaries are known. The list contains a few pearls, such as the exemption from the Nobel Prize premium… created to encourage researchers to become Nobel Prizes. “Some of these niches will not be eliminated, in the end. But this is an amendment in principle, because it is unacceptable not to have this information ”, explains the deputy of Hautes-Alpes.

Haro on small taxes

In the draft budget, the government has planned to eliminate 18 small taxes that are too complex or never applied, after having already eliminated 26 last year. The LREM group could however add ten other provisions to the list. MP Laurent Saint-Martin is working on the issue (he is thinking, in particular, of the funeral tax and that on unsweetened drinks containing sweeteners), supported by Joël Giraud. He wants to obtain the end of the tax on marriages (125 euros of fixed registration fees for the matrimonial regime), which brings in 10 million per year. For the sake of fairness, he also wants to make a tax flower for the divorced: an amendment would be planned to reduce the tax on property shared during the divorce. The rate would be lowered from 2.5% to 1%, its level before an increase decided under François Hollande.

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A respite for the chambers of agriculture

Since the start of the five-year term, the government has imposed a severe slimming cure on the chambers of commerce and industry. This time, it is the chambers of agriculture that are forced to save money. The PLF provides for a reduction of 45 million euros from one of their sources of financing (the additional tax to the tax on undeveloped land). This 6% reduction in their budget sparked an outcry, and MEPs could soften the measure. A report on its consequences could be requested, with, in the meantime, some compensation (such as the strengthening of the equalization fund or a levy on the working capital of the most important chambers).

The tax credit is always looking in the light

While he explained that he wanted to limit the research tax credit (CIR) to limit the abuses of large groups, Joël Giraud will be content to ask for a report to document the situation. It is true that in the summer, the government had agreed to a small gesture (reducing the flat rate for operating expenses) as a sign of appeasement. But the budget rapporteur should nevertheless call for some additional measures, in particular “To extend this limitation of the fixed amount of operating expenses to other expenses (such as“ young doctor ”expenses)”. It also wants to exclude from the field of the CIR certain expenses not relating to R&D (management of patents, administrative and legal costs, etc.).

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Agitation around non-road diesel

After having to give up, a year ago, the government put on the table the end of the tax advantage granted to non-road diesel (GNR). This time, the elimination will be done in three years and with some compensation measures (in particular a device of excess depreciation to facilitate the purchase of less polluting material). The general rapporteur intends to push for this excess amortization to be more generous for small businesses next year. In addition, he would like hybrid vehicles to be affected by this device for certain sectors. Ski resorts complain about not being able to find electric snow groomers.

Culture tax credits in the crosshairs

Joël Giraud has long had his sights set on tax credits granted to culture. His planer stroke should be limited to what he calls a “Moralization” of the cinema tax credit. Estimated at 169 million euros in the budget, this tax advantage concerns expenses for filming made in France. The deputy, who obviously does not appreciate Luc Besson’s “blockbusters”, wishes to exclude from the base the income of directors who are not domiciled in France for tax purposes and to control the costs of food and transport. He wants to start again on the issue of the cap on taxes allocated to the National Center for Cinema and Animated Image (CNC), revised in the budget, to make the digital giants contribute more to French film production. This option has so far been ruled out by the government.

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Our special file “All you need to know about the 2020 Budget”