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French Customs' Strategy Aims To Modernize Tax System

In its 2018 Strategy, the French General Directorate of Customs and Excise (DGDDI) pledges to further modernize the tax system, to better secure the collection of revenue, while at the same time reducing intervention costs.

The DGDDI underlined its intention to continue centralizing the management of taxes at regional, interregional, and national level, making clear that the changes will affect all taxes, from transport, energy, and environmental levies, to indirect contributions.

In its publication, the DGDDI alluded to the improvements that have already been implemented by the department over the course of the last few years. Procedures have been simplified, and facilities introduced to enable taxes to be declared and settled electronically, it explained. Furthermore, the DGDDI pointed out that the national service responsible for the heavy goods vehicle tax has been set up, together with the unique service responsible for managing the general tax on polluting activities (TGAP).

These developments form part of Government efforts to simplify fiscal procedures for both companies and individuals in France, the General Directorate said, emphasizing its determination to put forward its own proposals, aimed at simplifying legislation and regulations governing the various taxes for which it is responsible.

By way of an example, the DGDDI suggested that the management of the special tax imposed on certain road vehicles or so-called 'axle tax' (TSVR) could be consolidated at regional or interregional level. Furthermore, TSVR services could be responsible in future for reimbursements of the domestic tax levied on the consumption of energy products (TICPE), it added.

In addition, the DGDDI stressed the importance of establishing specialized centers responsible for managing energy taxes, at least at regional level, including the TICPE tax, the domestic consumption tax on coal (TICC), the domestic consumption tax on natural gas (TICGN), and the domestic consumption tax on the final consumption of electricity (TICFE). Defending the idea, it highlighted the fact that too many offices are currently tasked with recovering the TICPE levy. Of the 129 offices concerned, 75 percent contribute less than 2 percent of the annual TICPE product, the DGDDI noted.

In parallel, the DGDDI aims to develop a computer application to allow the electronic declaration of the TICFE, TICC, and TICGN taxes.

Finally, the French Customs states that it plans to modernize and simplify certain taxes, including for example the tax on flour and port taxes.

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