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CultureTaxation in France

To the French, taxes are the funding that sustains a modern democratic society, where education is free and heath care is accessible to all. Taxes are seen as a way to give everyone the same chances by supplying the same tools necessary to improve themselves. The French see taxes as paying for beneficial services. All French families, no matter their income level, receive some type of government allowance.

Both the political right and left favor keeping French tax rates the highest in Europe. Why? Because there would be less cheering from those favoring the tax cuts and more complaining from those who have lost their benefits.

Some might complain about taxes stopping growth or making government too big, but when push comes to shove, the French want their welfare state left intact, even if that means that one in seven work for the government.

Jacques Chirac, during his successful 1995 campaign for president, stated that taxes in France where too high and that, should he be elected, he would cut them. He never cut taxes; at best, he moved the tax burden from one group to another. Because it would have been too costly politically, people in France don't want their government services cut, even if they where to get money back that they could spend as they like.

As an American, it takes time to get used to the amount of taxes one must pay in France, the 19.6 sales tax for one. Soon you understand that taxes are not seen as the government taking your money but as the government being able to supply services. Taxes are very much a part of French culture, as much so as wine, cheese and reckless driving.

Expat Tax Services

Related Articles:
French Property Tax Information
FAQ about Taxes in France
Taxes in France

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