[Rapport] Tax, social and social fraud: Do not choose the wrong target

The report

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The neoliberals say that social fraud would be more worrying, even more important, than tax evasion. In fact, their discourse is motivated by their ideology and their desire to discredit social redistribution by stigmatizing “welfare”. Social fraud mainly involves undeclared work (where workers are victims who are actually deprived of social rights) and organized networks. But all the serious work shows it: Tax evasion remains incomparably higher than social fraud.of which a minority share consists of social benefit fraud.

Admittedly, the series of cases revealing the extent of tax evasion and the reaction of people who put tax justice as one of the priorities have prompted governments to take action. These have been numerous, both internationally and nationally. But while small steps are being taken, tax evasion continues to grow and grow in sophistication.

If we are witnessing a strengthening of “social control”, on their part, the results of the fight against tax evasion are falling sharply. For those in power, this is proof that their action is effective and that fraud is on the decline. But the data speaks for itself: in reality, the adjustments fall as a result of the tax audit This is partly due to the reduction in the number of employees in the tax audit and partly to measures that weaken the fight against tax evasion. And that while the number of tax households and the number of both corporation tax and VAT-liable companies is rising. As a result, the “coverage structure of the tax structure” (ie the number of controls related to a given population: enterprises or households) falls sharply.

Between 2008 and 2019 (ie the year before the health crisis, when the number of controls collapsed due to confinement and health restrictions), the number of on-site controls fell from 52,010 to 45,114, ie. a decrease of 13.25%. The number of document controls (CSPs) decreased from 1,000,532 to 441,544, a decrease of 55.86%. The financial result of the tax audit also decreased by 11.28%. They go (in customs and fines) from 15.63 to 13.86 billion euros, and for customs (the tax evasion alone) they fall by 10.11%, that is to say 12.73 to 11.45 billion euros. After a year of 2020 marked by a decline in activity due to restrictive measures in the light of the health crisis, year 2021 confirms this overall downward trend with a total profit of 13.4 billion euros.

Among the reasons for this spectacular decline is the reduction in the number of employees in the Directorate-General for Public Finance. Since the end of the 2000s, therefore, the control services have lost at least between 3,000 and 3,500 jobs, perhaps even more than 4,000. neoliberal: we are witnessing a strengthening of control over the unemployed while staff allocated to control of social benefits do not decrease or even increase.

The reality in the development of tax evasion and tax auditing is therefore very often the opposite of official speeches and attempts to manipulate those who minimize it and prefer to provoke fraud in social benefits. In fact, tax evasion remains systemic and always costs “crazy dough”. To put an end to this scourge, we put a number of proposals for debate. They concern, both nationally and internationally, the strengthening of the legislative, legal, material and human resources of all the services involved in the fight against tax evasion and fraud. The goal is really to tackle this scourge to restore tax justice and generate public revenue to meet social, environmental and economic needs.

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