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French tax returns to be simplified, minister vows

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French tax returns to be simplified, minister vows
12:57 CET+01:00
Despite having numerous public holidays, most French people dread the month of May because it means spending hours filling in their tax declaration forms. France's finance minister promised on Wednesday the process would become easier.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici suggested on Wednesday the end was near for France’s arduous annual process of filling in tax declaration forms.

In an interview with Le Parisien, Moscovici announced that the “declaration des revenus” which must be carried out each year before the end of May, is going to be simplified.

The idea however is not so much designed to save taxpayers time but to save the government money in a period of austerity.

Currently taxpayers are asked to send in supporting documents such as certificates of donations to charities or receipts of childcare costs, which often requires an afternoon spent in front of a photocopier.

But to the relief of the public and a government sinking under the weight of paperwork, those days are over, the minister revealed.

“We have been working hard at the ministry to ensure that the tax return process is simplified,” the minister said. “For the first time we will no longer ask those who make their declaration on paper to attach all their supporting statements.

“We will also make sure the form for calculating the taxes is easier to read and we will be encouraging more people to make their declaration online."

Moscovici also said this year the French will not receive the traditional letter from the Ministry of Finance reminding them to pay their taxes. Instead emails will be sent out which will save an estimated €850,000.

In France, taxes are calculated on a calendar year basis with the public forced to complete and send back a declaration by the end of May the following year.

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