France to scrap 30% ‘exit tax’ on top earners to attract foreign investors France to scrap 30% ‘exit tax’ on top earners to attract foreign investors

France to scrap 30% ‘exit tax’ on top earners to attract foreign investors
18 May 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron intends to scrap a 30% 'exit tax' on top earners who transfer their assets outside of the country, in the hope of attracting more foreign investors. 

According to The Local, the levy was introduced in 2012 under former right-wing president Nicolas Sarkozy to try to dissuade wealthy French entrepreneurs and investors from moving their money or assets out of France. At the time, many millionaires were fleeing France for neighbouring jurisdictions with lower income tax rates such as Belgium.

Macron told Forbes magazine that he would scrap the tax next year. "People are free to invest where they want. If you want to get married, you should not explain to your partner, 'If you marry me, you will not be free to divorce'," he said. "I'm not so sure it is the best way to have a lady or a man who loves. So I'm for being free to get married and free to divorce."

The move could prove controversial for Macron, who has been labelled the “president of the rich” by his opponents after introducing a series of measures designed to encourage entrepreneurs. These included scrapping a special wealth tax on high-earners in this year's Budget and creating a flat tax of 30% on all financial income, including dividends.

Macron insists that he needs to lower the country's tax take, one of the highest in Europe, to make the country more attractive for investors as he seeks to lower unemployment from its current rate of around 9%.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

French President Emmanuel Macron intends to scrap a 30% 'exit tax' on top earners who transfer their assets outside of the country, in the hope of attracting more foreign investors. 

According to The Local, the levy was introduced in 2012 under former right-wing president Nicolas Sarkozy to try to dissuade wealthy French entrepreneurs and investors from moving their money or assets out of France. At the time, many millionaires were fleeing France for neighbouring jurisdictions with lower income tax rates such as Belgium.

Macron told Forbes magazine that he would scrap the tax next year. "People are free to invest where they want. If you want to get married, you should not explain to your partner, 'If you marry me, you will not be free to divorce'," he said. "I'm not so sure it is the best way to have a lady or a man who loves. So I'm for being free to get married and free to divorce."

The move could prove controversial for Macron, who has been labelled the “president of the rich” by his opponents after introducing a series of measures designed to encourage entrepreneurs. These included scrapping a special wealth tax on high-earners in this year's Budget and creating a flat tax of 30% on all financial income, including dividends.

Macron insists that he needs to lower the country's tax take, one of the highest in Europe, to make the country more attractive for investors as he seeks to lower unemployment from its current rate of around 9%.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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