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French to overhaul corporate tax system

Wednesday, January 29 14:28:10

The French government - harsh critics of Ireland's corporate tax regime - began talks today to overhaul its own complex tax system as part of President Francois Hollande's push to help lighten the burden on companies.

The Socialist president told business leaders last week that reform must reduce the tax load on companies and improve conditions for investment. The overhaul fits with Hollande's new embrace of a supply-side economics and move away from tax and spending increases.

Ministers, deputies, unions and employer groups will try to deliver by June proposals to simplify the system, which critics say is clogged with hundreds of small or ineffective taxes. No deadline has been set for turning the proposals into law.

Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux, the Medef business lobby's vice president, said companies would push for taxes to come down next year but expected little concrete change to emerge from the talks. "The real question is: what ground can we cover?" he said. "We're very much in a wait-and-see mode, and our hope is to see taxes come down as early as 2015."