Some of France's richest taxed more than 100%

More than 8,000 households got hit with the one-time levy as Socialist President Francois Hollande continues to target the nation's wealthiest.

By Jason Notte May 21, 2013 6:59AM
A woman holding Euro bills in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (copyright Thinkstock/Comstock Images/Getty Images)Well, America's rich, the fiscal cliff compromise that bumped the top effective income tax rate from 35% to 39.6% could have been a lot worse. The deal could have taken all of it and more.

That's what happened in France, where Reuters says more than 8,000 French households' tax bills topped 100% of their income last year. Business newspaper Les Echos, citing Finance Ministry data, reported Saturday that the huge tax hit stemmed from a one-off levy last year on 2011 incomes for households with assets of more than 1.3 million euros ($1.67 million).

President Francois Hollande's Socialist government imposed the tax surcharge last year to offset the cost of a rebate set up by predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy that capped an individual's overall tax rate at 50% of income.

Hollande's government has been trying to impose a temporary 75% tax on earnings over 1 million euros, but France's Constitutional Council ruled that the rate was unfair and threw it out. An administrative court has since declared that a marginal tax rate higher than 66.66% imposed on a single household borders on confiscatory. The government is now trying to revamp its proposal to hit companies instead of individuals.

Even that has been a problem, as soccer clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, the richest in France, are considered companies under the revised law. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's office issued a statement in April confirming that the surcharge will apply to soccer clubs, including PSG. Considering that a dozen members of the PSG roster make 1 million euros or more, France's soccer authorities are, at best, unhappy.

"With these crazy labor costs, France will lose its best players, our clubs will see their competitiveness in Europe decline, and the government will lose its best taxpayers," France's Football League said.

The effects are already being felt. PSG coach Carlos Ancelotti has asked to leave the club for Spanish La Liga powerhouse Real Madrid, according to The Guardian, while PSG superstar David Beckham opted to retire.

Still, the redrafted law had no effect on the onerous one-time levy. Les Echos reported that nearly 12,000 households paid taxes last year worth more than 75% of their 2011 incomes. There's no word on whether that included actor Gerard Depardieu, who retreated to Belgium to avoid the tax.

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May 21, 2013 9:40AM
That is not taxation----pure and simple it is confiscation. 
May 21, 2013 9:53AM

Flat tax for everyone including businesses and corporations regardless of how much you make.  Our tax code needs to be simplified and the IRS needs to be shrank considerably along with much of our federal government. 

May 21, 2013 9:50AM

The very first sentence of this article indicates the preposterous position of the author and other like-minded naive morons; "it could've been a lot worse"....... to create a pretense in the reader's; that here in the US we should be grateful for a government stealing merely 40% of our earnings instead of more!!???!  Have you ever heard of private property rights, the right to the fruits of our labors? Our INCOME tax rate is only a portion of the variety of taxes we pay in state, local, sales, gas, real estate, school, death......permits, registrations, licenses.....the list is as long as a roll of toilet paper.

Each day I'm more convinced that the socialist-leaning, statist-minded, liberal left will never understand that a bloated government is as addicted to taxes no less than a junkie to drugs. The problem is that in DC and in our states there are too many "junkies" in office.

May 21, 2013 9:41AM
With the ability to transfer funds with the click of a button, the result will be obvious - The very wealthy will merely abandon France for more 'friendly' countries, and their effective tax rate in France will be 0%.
In addition, the French government will also lose the hidden VAT taxes on all of their purchases.
Has anyone heard of the 'Laffer Curve'?  Basically, it says that when the government taxes at 100%, the economy drops to 0% and nobody has a job.  Who wants to work when you get paid nothing.

May 21, 2013 9:43AM

The few paying for the many.   


Freedom for all unless of course you're successful and make too much money.   In which case screw you and give us all your money.   Compliments of your local government socialist leaders/officials.  


Watch out USA!    If BO gets his way we are right behind France.

May 21, 2013 9:34AM
Isn't Socialism wonderful!! Hey, but the French rich shouldn't complain too much. After all, the last time the socialists got really pissed off at the rich; well they just lost their heads!!
May 21, 2013 9:49AM
Coming soon to a country near you! Don't think it can't happen here in the U.S.? Think again! When you over tax the producers, they stop producing or leave the country all together. Then you are left with the non-producers. When the government realizes the non-producers have nothing to take, they turn them into slaves whose sole purpose is to support the government. THAT'S socialism. Read your history books and tell me I'm wrong.
May 21, 2013 9:52AM
This is what Obama wants of America...the Socialist States of America.  We are moving ever closer to his dream where individual liberties are curtailed in the name of security and every reason Americans had to work hard and try to succeed will be replaced by reasons not to do so...welfare!  Only those who are already super rich will be able to afford the finer things in life and the rest of will grovel for their leftovers.  Way to go libacrats!
May 21, 2013 9:54AM

Bastardly socialists. If you take the money from rich and they go poor, who will pay for your liberal, out of control government subsidies and freebies.


Socialists are short sighted idiots appeasing the "gimmie" generation at the expense of hard working capitalists.

May 21, 2013 9:48AM
Ain't socialism great!  The French remain a priceless source of idiocy in a less than perfect world.  Way to go!
May 21, 2013 9:53AM
I'm sure the French said it could never happen there either....
May 21, 2013 9:51AM
How ironic that most of his parliament members were exempt from those taxes, it was discovered not too long ago that most of his party members and parliament had secret bank accounts, and millions in assets hidden away. The hypocrisy of the Socialist left like much of our own Demorat party is Kleptocratic, Obama's tax rate was significantly less than Romney's( I'm not a fan by the way), yet he dared to lecture the man about fair share. It's disgusting. The rape and pillaging of people's personal property has begun, what's sad is that the catatonic sheeple don't care.

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” – Frédéric Bastiat,"The Law"1850

May 21, 2013 9:45AM
Franklin Roosevelt was planning a 100% tax on incomes over a million dollars. His advisers managed to talk him out of it, barely. Progressives never change, except maybe countries. lol
May 21, 2013 9:49AM
legislated anarchy is what happens when there is the absence of principle and integrity on the part of politicians who bedamn the successful and promise the treasury to the voters who contribute little or nothing to it. This is the very root of socialism and the chaos that will come with time when they run out of other peoples money to keep themselves in power. 
May 21, 2013 9:43AM

we will eventually get back to the 70%+/- rates we had in place in the late 60's & early 70's. the thing about it is that with inflated incomes 50 years later, those same rate schedules will put the average working couple in the highest bracket.


those rate schedules included maybe up to ten brackets of increased rates of tax, so very few people paid the highest bracket. sometimes i wish i had saved those old rate tables just to compare to today's rates. it would probably shock me!


this country can not continue to spend twice as much or more than it takes, with the majority of what the government borrows just goes to pay interest on old debt.


some folks used to say that we owe it to ourselves. that's true to a certain's our social security money, retirement plans, etc that the government owes us . but the bulk of it we owe to china.

May 21, 2013 10:14AM
I make about $100,000.00/year and paid over $40,000.00 in taxes to the government. Then when you add in grocery, gas, property, clothing, hotel, and on and on taxes we pay we are already paying over 70%. Wake up LIBERALS, Those of you who feel someone working for a decent living is not paying enough is because you prefer to LEECH off the working class who prefer to try getting ahead. But is sure is tough when you pay in at the rates we do. Wish you LIBERALS would get a job for a change, or is that the kind of change you wanted when you voted for Obama.
May 21, 2013 10:52AM
100% taxation is a euphamism for SLAVERY... If 100% of what you produce goes to support others no other word comes to mind.
May 21, 2013 10:16AM

The progressives in this country would love nothing more to take what is not theirs. Problem is, those who do the taking are the same wealthy people that all of the do nothing's worship like idols.


The only ones out there that think this is a good idea are those who have everything to gain from the system because they have made a career out of getting everything and doing nothing.


There will be a revolt against this government someday, the actual hardworking Americans (there are fewer every day) will not put up with this. It is the goal of this government and this President to constantly put more Americans into the category of people who depend on the government for all or part of their existence. This is the way that Socialists keep power, dependency on the government. Divide and conquer, it has happened all through history and you people are sitting back and letting it happen to the one-time greatest nation on earth.

May 21, 2013 10:03AM
do not publish things such as this, it will give our administration ideas.
May 21, 2013 9:50AM
There really is something defective in the mental processes of the Ismists. It isn't just the soccer players who may wonder why they would participate in a system that doesn't allow PROFIT. Who honestly thinks this is a "one-time" levy? Whatever France sucked out of people this time will be gone in short order and there'll be fewer to tax next time. Well, actually, next time they'll hit everyone who makes HALF a million or more....then THAT will be gone. This is exactly what the Ismists in America want to do to US.
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