• France's news in English

French taxman bills dealer for drug profits

Dan MacGuill · 26 Nov 2013, 12:14

Published: 26 Nov 2013 12:14 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Frequently criticized by Europe's finance chiefs for asking for too much from its citizens, the infamous French taxman will have raised a few more eyebrows in Brussels and beyond with his latest move, news of which emerged on Tuesday.

A lawyer for a convicted heroin trafficker currently serving a four-year sentence in the eastern city of Nancy, told Europe 1 radio on Tuesday that French authorities had demanded no less than €80,000 in “small business” taxes on her client’s illegal activities.

“It’s absolutely extraordinary,” said Samira Boudiba. “They’ve sent [a tax bill] to my client, whom they consider a 'small businessman' (micro-entrepreneur), and they’re imposing taxes on his drug dealing since 2008,” she added.

The authorities have reportedly even gone as far as measuring the dealer’s daily personal heroin use, basing their calculations on a going rate of €15 per gram.

“Your personal consumption [of heroin] has been evaluated at four grams per day, and that quantity can be deducted [from the bill],” said the letter.

Indeed, the tax bill was even thorough enough to take into account the heroin trafficker’s frequent commuting between France and Belgium, according to Boudiba.

“Basically, because he drove between Nancy and Namur [in Belgium], which is a 532-km round trip, they’ve very kindly given him a tax allowance of €496 for it,” the lawyer added.

However, perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the tax bill is that it is being levied on the drug dealing itself, rather than other, legal business ventures that the convicted trafficker may have been running.

“How can you tax a business that’s completely illegal?” asked Boudiba. “One gets the impression that this is a way of acknowledging the legality of the trafficking,” she added.

French tax authorities have already seized €40,000 in cash from the dealer, but Boudiba vowed on Tuesday to bring the case to France’s “Conseil Constitutionnel” to challenge its constitutionality.

This isn't the first time that the French taxman has appeared to defy logic and common sense. In May, The Local reported how authorities, unable to get a response from one would-be - but inconveniently deceased - taxpayer at this home address, had sent a tax bill to his grave.

Story continues below…

At the time of publication, French tax authorities at the Ministry of Finance had not responded to The Local's request for a response to Boudiba's claims.

SEE ALSO: French taxman sends bill to dead man's grave

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

How Paris is rapidly becoming Europe's 'City of Innovation'
Photo: AFP

If you want to start a company then Paris is the place to do it, it seems.

'Jungle' clearance: Migrants begin to leave Calais camp
All photos: AFP

The "Jungle" clearance is underway.

France’s 'Jungle' children arrive in UK
Authorities will start to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp on Monday. Photo: Denis Charlet / AFP file picture

The first group of children from the French "Jungle" migrant camp with no connection to Britain have arrived in the country, the Home Office said Sunday, ahead of the camp's planned demolition.

French FM calls for end to Aleppo 'massacre'
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says the international community cannot ‘come to a negotiation under the bombs’. Photo: Dominick Reuter / AFP file picture

France's foreign minister urged the international community to "do everything" to end the "massacre" in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday after fighting resumed following a 72-hour truce declared by Damascus ally Russia.

Parisians cheer on protesting French police
French police officers on Saturday demonstrated for the fifth night in a row to protest mounting attacks on officers. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

Angry French police have taken to the streets for five nights in a row -- and Parisians have started to cheer them on, reviving scenes last seen following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015.

Scarlett Johansson turns popcorn girl in Paris
US actress Scarlett Johansson greets customers at the Yummy Pop gourmet popcorn shop in the Marais district of Paris. Photo: Benjamin Cremel / AFP

Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson swapped the red carpet for a turn behind the counter at her new popcorn shop in Paris on Saturday.

US couple donates huge art collection to Paris
Marlene (centre) and Spencer (right) are donating their collection ‘for the benefit of art lovers’. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

A Texan couple who discovered their love for art during a trip to Paris in the 1970s are to donate the multi-million dollar collection they have amassed since to the French capital.

France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
jobs available