June 27, 2022

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Covid-19 solidarity fund scams caused tax evasion to soar in France in 2021


In 2021, the justice system received three times more cases than in 2019 and 2020. At issue: fraud linked to the anti-Covid solidarity fund.

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The number of tax frauds has soared. Just over 4,000 cases were sent to justice in 2021, compared to 1,400 in 2020 and 1,800 a year earlier. Of this total of 4 000 records listed, 2 500 concerned fraud in the aid companies put in place by the State during the health crisis. And the tax administration sends only the most important cases to justice.

In total, the administration recovered nearly 70 million euros unduly paid under the solidarity fund, companies having declared difficult situations which did not have to be. And fortunately the administration is vigilant because by studying the files before paying the money, the upstream checks have made it possible to avoid around ten billion euros of payments which had no justification. As a reminder, the solidarity fund is the main aid put in place by the State for companies during the pandemic with nearly forty billion euros paid in 2020 and 2021.

Overall, the figures provided by the tax authorities show a clear resumption of controls. After two years marked by the pandemic, tax officials have resumed normal activity. Suspended during the crisis, tax audits have resumed a traditional rhythm, the same for recoveries which had been partially stopped in the wake of the various confinements. The leniency of the state is over. Automatically, more checks mean more adjustments.

Overall, if we add up all the tax adjustments – those linked to the Covid-19 episode and other operations -, revenue for the State increased in 2021 by 63% to reach 13.5 billion euros. euros. By making it possible to identify many accounts abroad, the exchange of information between the various international administrations has greatly contributed to this success.

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