Economy. Why taxing superprofits could bring in much more than expected

Taxing superprofits could yield much more than expected by the government, according to economists from the Institute for Public Policy (IPP) during a presentation at the Paris School of Economics. But the measure is limited to the energy sector. Explanations.

After rejecting a tax on this sector, which has benefited enormously from the rise in energy prices, the French government ended up agreeing to the European Commission’s proposal to tax the profits of companies made “for reasons that are not are responsible”, explains Arthur Guillouzouic, a researcher at the IPP. Namely, the skyrocketing prices of oil, gas or electricity.

up to 44 billion

Along with three colleagues, Arthur Guillouzouic estimates that “the potential profitability of the Government’s amendment” is “much higher” than the 200 million euros calculated by the Government on the basis of the benefits expected for the year 2022 to the draft budget of 2023, called “temporary solidarity contribution”, and taxing at 33%, instead of 25%, the benefits that exceed the average of the reference period 2018-2021 by more than 25%, “could yield between 6,000 and 7,000 million euros”, according to economists

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Regarding the tax proposed by Nupes, which is not limited to the energy sector but would affect all large companies with a turnover of more than 750 million euros and whose profits exceed the average of those made between 2017 by more than 25%. and 2019, could contribute between 18,800 and 44,400 million euros.

The “best compromise”

“The scenario that Parliament has adopted is what seems to be the best compromise in the sense that it preserves growth, manages to contain inflation and does not boost the price-salary cycle,” explained François Langot, Cepremap economist. His study is against indexing wages to inflation, “because its negative effect on employment would dominate the positive effect on real hourly wages.”

The president of the Finance Commission of the National Assembly Eric Coquerel (LFI), who attended the presentation, the tariff shield “is better than nothing” but “we cannot be satisfied with this system that has not prevented the decline in purchasing power ”. Ask for prices to be locked when they skyrocket.

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