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Local taxes land at the tobacco shop amid controversy

2020-02-23T21:05:50.965Z

From Monday, tobacconists will be able to collect local taxes and utility bills



Illustration of a tobacco office carrot - SEBASTIEN SALOM GOMIS

  • The “Local payment” operation, which starts this Monday, authorizes tobacconists to collect local taxes, fines and utility bills via the electronic system of La Française des Jeux.
  • The unions of the Directorate General of Public Finance denounce the privatization of a public service, with the aim of dismantling it.
  • The tobacconists, themselves, continue to diversify their activities, after the sale of train tickets obtained in 2019.

This Monday February 24 marks the start of "Proximity Payment". The principle is simple: it is now possible to pay local taxes, fines and utility bills at tobacconists. Limited to ten test departments at first, the operation will extend in April and then in July, to include the whole of French territory.

As simple as playing Loto

Those who have already played Loto or PMU will not be disoriented since it is the same terminal, that of the Française des jeux, which will be used to scan a property tax sheet, a fine or a school canteen invoice. As the service is still in development, it will be necessary to check that the notice to be presented includes the necessary QR code and the words "payable to a tobacconist".

By presenting the notice to the scanner, the latter will indicate, on the screen assigned to the taxpayer, his name and the amount to be paid. At the same time, the tobacconist will see displayed on his monitor only the amount to be paid. The taxpayer may request to pay all or part of the amount, by bank card or in cash (up to a limit of 300 euros). Once payment has been made, it will be possible to request a receipt, provided that the name of the tobacconist is given. The operation aims to "expand the accessibility of a public service to the French through a larger network than that of the Directorate General of Public Finance", explains Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of Action and Public Accounts.

The privatization of a public service?

"What was done" free "before will pay for the state," however, denounces Olivier Brunelle, assistant secretary general of the union Force Ouvrière of the General Directorate of Public Finance (DGFiP), joined by 20 Minutes . “This is a double privatization, since the tobacconists will receive 1.50 euros HT per operation. But La Française des Jeux will also have its share, and we don't even know what it represents, ”added the trade unionist. According to him, this operation poses operational problems: “At the DGFiP, we systematically verify the identity of the payer, the tobacconists cannot do it. "

Another problem according to him, confidentiality: "Given the size of the establishments, it is difficult to hide the screen where the amount to be paid is displayed". Like him, several unions are protesting against the operation. The CGFi DGFiP raises the question of the human and financial cost for the DGFiP. Because "there are 1,200 treasuries that will disappear, and with them, tens of thousands of jobs," confirms Olivier Brunelle. Solidaires, for its part, describes the operation as a "big clearance sale in the public service". The secretary of FO DGFiP also warns against the disintegration of services: “In addition to the very technical advisory function, behind, there is the tax audit, and all the management of the collection of public money. "

The tobacconists defend themselves

But what about the tobacconists? “This is an evolution, we are improving the tax offer. It has always been in the DNA of tobacconists to be agents of the administration, "says Philippe Coy, president of the Confederation of tobacconists. Before embarking on tax collection, tobacconists already offered administration-related services: tax stamps, fine stamps, train tickets since last year. "And the car sticker in the 1950s," recalls Philippe Coy.

The President of the Swiss Confederation wants to reassure taxpayers: “The tobacconists volunteering for the operation will be trained and will pass an examination which will validate their approval. The goal of tobacconists is not to "degrade a profession" (that of the DGFiP), he adds, but to bring "an ease of payment. We only have a role as a cashier ”. What about data confidentiality? No fear to have, according to him. The Directorate General of Public Finance has also told us that the QR code system used allows that no personal data of taxpayers is within the reach of La Française des Jeux.

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  • Tobacco
  • Gérald Darmanin
  • Economy
  • taxes
  • Public service
  • privatization

Source: 20minf

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