Reflection around the wealth tax, between social justice and cultural stakes

Works of art and ISF. The oeuvres of art, item of collection and antiquity(antique) has is exempted from the tax base of solidarity on the fortune ( ISF). This arrangement(measure) results from an amendment put down(deposited) by the government at the request of the president of the Republic in 1981, from the implementation of the new fiscal device(plan). But this exemption continues to make debate. The considerations of social justice and economic profitability oppose the arguments pulled(fired) in particular by the difficulty estimating – and thus to tax – the oeuvres of art, and concerns of cultural policy. The Council(Advise) of the taxes pronounced in 1998 in favour of the integration of the oeuvres of art in the plate of the ISF. Since then, during the previous legislature, every year, on the occasion of the examination of the finance bill in front of the National Assembly, an amendment this way was adopted in finance committee, then in session. The government, attached to the preservation of the exemption, was led(driven) thus annually to ask to members of parliament for a second deliberation, so that they return on this arrangement(measure). Since 2002, the exemption from the oeuvres of art was not questioned. For his(her) partisans, the abolition(deletion) of the exemption would favor the redistribution of income and fiscal justice. From an economic and financial point of view, it would be a question of imposing capital considered as unproductive, even speculative values. Finally, such a measure would be, according to deputy Brard, a way(means) to fight against the tax fraud and the money laundering. To by-pass the difficulties bound(connected) to the evaluation of the artistic properties(goods) and to their volatility, to avoid also inquisitorial measures and reduce the risks of dispute, the amendment plans simplified modalities(methods) of imposition(taxation). The taxable value would be estimated(esteemed) at 3 % Of the global value of the net assets of the taxpayer. This mechanism is inspired by the movable fixed price(package) of 5 % held(retained) for the liquidation of inheritance tax. The 3 % rate would establish(constitute) a ceiling, the taxpayer always having the possibility to dispute the evaluation. However, with the aim of favoring the access to the oeuvres of art, the creation and the protection of the artistic heritage, the authors of the amendment plan that the artistic properties(goods) would be exempted in three cases: works presented to the public, work of alive artists, movables establishing(constituting) the artistic or historic complement to classified or registered buildings. It is thus a question a lot of measure of symbolic nature. Actually, the annual amount of the expected recipes(receipts), of the order of 22,8 in 42,6 million euros, would remain modest with regard to the 2,4 billion euros got by the ISF in 2001. The Constitutional Council specified twice that the tax on the heritage(holdings), ” because of its rate and of its annual character [] is normally called to be acquitted(settled) on the income of the taxable properties(goods) “. We can thus ask(raise) ourselves the question of the legitimacy of a taxation of the oeuvres of art, which do not get income. As for the repercussions of such a measure, they are so described by the Monitoring center(Observatory) of the international movements of oeuvres of art, chaired over the time(period) by André Chandernagor: ” To tax the oeuvres of art within the framework of the ISF is not realistic in terms of control, expertise, risk of flight(leak) of collections towards other countries. It would also discourage the private owners (companies and collectors) to participate, by their sponsorship and the loan of their works, in the cultural policy of the State and the regions with a measure of autonomy. ” In any case, if the exemption was questioned, it would be advisable to wonder about the general coherence of the fiscal device(plan). Deputy Douyère concluded in a report(relationship) put back(handed) in 1999 that in the present state of the ISF, any reform is ” useless and dangerous for the conservation of our heritage(holdings) and for the development of the creation “. The aforementioned reform would require to see again(to revise) the whole system of the ISF and to return besides on the principle of the fixed tax on precious metals, jewels, works of art, collection and antiquity(antique), because this tax finds its justification in the exemption from which benefit the holders of oeuvres of art regarding ISF.