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Tax optimization

Published on December 11, 2014
Reply by M. Michel Sapin, Minister of Finance and Public Accounts, to a question in the National Assembly (excerpts)

Paris, December 10, 2014


There may be technical, legal or commercial reasons why a company, even if it is public, has sites abroad.

However – and I say this to you very clearly – I won’t tolerate any siting carried out with a view to tax optimization. And the Economy Minister and I say it to all public companies, in which the state obviously holds a stake. We’ll be very precisely informed of any possible sitings and the reasons why they’ve taken place, and on the basis of this information the requisite decisions will be taken, if need be, to put an end to tax optimization mechanisms.

I want the public sector to be exemplary, so that France will be exemplary and can promote both at European level – we’re already doing that – and at global level this determination, which must be efficient and effective, to combat tax optimization. (…)

I say it clearly and simply, because this battle against tax optimization is absolutely essential if we want to both respect individuals, citizens – who want tax to be fair, distributed fairly and collected effectively – and guarantee the smooth running of our economy.

Otherwise, it creates distortions of competition between companies that comply with the law and morality – and there are many of them – and those which don’t.

That’s my priority, our priority. In the course of 2015, we’ll have made concrete progress in Europe in combating the tax optimization practices you rightly condemn./.

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