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The number of exit tax declarations, a system put in place to limit the tax relocation of French people abroad, fell by 30% in 2017, Emmanuel Macron's election year. Getty Images

According to the latest data from a report by Bercy, obtained by the daily Le Figaro , the commitments of French President Emmanuel Macron have deterred financial capital holders from taking refuge abroad to escape the tax .

If the wealthiest French people have decided to stay in France, it is because the government has encouraged them to do so. In 2017, during his presidential campaign, the candidate Macron had promised them to reform the ISF, the solidarity tax on wealth , and replace it with a single flat-rate levy of 30% on capital income. Share dividends, employee savings plans, home savings plans, and other bank books, but also life insurance under certain conditions.

Only real estate income was not affected by the measure. This new single rate tax is called Flat Tax . It came into effect on January 1, 2018 and today Bercy measures the effects. With its introduction, the number of taxpayer-related departures abroad fell by 40% in 2017, compared to the previous year. Flat Tax also contributed to a 30 % drop in the number of exit tax returns in 2017 .

Flat tax and exit tax

Introduced by former President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011, the "exit tax" concerns the capital gains realized during the resale of shares, at the time of the change of tax residence outside France and up to 34.5 %. It first applied to the wealthy whose wealth was 1.3 million euros, amount reduced in 2014 to 800,000 euros in shares. The latest report from Bercy lists the departures of the year 2017, year of handover between François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron.

According to the document, "exit tax" declarations also fell sharply in 2017. Bercy counted 225 statements, 30% less than in previous years. The exit tax concerns entrepreneurs or investors who leave France for more lenient tax destinations such as Belgium, the United Kingdom, Portugal or the United States. The law requires them to complete a return so that they continue to pay tax on their capital gain, once abroad.

France becomes attractive again

According to published figures, France becomes attractive again. 376 taxpayers went into exile in 2017. We have to go back 12 years to find such a low level. The end of the ISF played a decisive role for many taxpayers concerned. Removed in the other countries of the European Union, France was the last country where the solidarity tax on wealth remained in force, pushing hundreds of taxpayers to emigrate each year.

Under the former government, the great wealth was taxed up to a marginal rate of 45%, today, with Flat Tax and its single flat tax of 30% affluent taxpayers benefit from a real tax cut. But this still seems insufficient for high-income earners, those whose tax income exceeds 300,000 euros, who still prefer to reside abroad.