Nowhere is Safe: France Will Hunt for Tax Cheating on Social Media

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France’s tax inspectors will begin searching through social media accounts in 2019 in order to fight against tax evasion, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said in an interview.

"(The fiscal administration) will be able to see that if you have numerous pictures of yourself with a luxury car while you don't have the means to own one, then maybe your cousin or your girlfriend has lent it to you… or maybe not," French Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

The idea is to discover potential fraud by examining the data available to the public on individuals' social media accounts, according to Darmanin.

READ MORE: The Little Empire: France Looks to Hold on to its Few Remaining Colonies

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Such measures are justified by a recently enacted law intended to extend the authorities' capacities to deal with tax fraud and allow a wider application of online data to reinforce fiscal controls.

In 2019, France will face a 2.8-percent budget deficit due to changes in its taxation system. The country will lower the tax burden on households and companies by some 25 billion euros.

Under the EU Stability and Growth Pact, the member states should keep their budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP to maintain the stability of the EU's economic and monetary union.

 

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