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Comments from another board on French income tax law

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Comments from another board on French income tax law

Post by momopi » October 8th, 2007, 2:55 am

Quote from the article (The War on Family, MoneySense, Summer 2007, is below:

France, for instance, has a very different view from Canada on how taxes should be levied. Rather than taxing its citizens as individuals, France taxes family units. each family files a return showing its total income and total number of people living on that income. The family can allocate that money for tax purposes among family members to better reflect how it is actually spent.

This system amounts to income splitting and it can dramatically reduce the tax a family pays. A husband who earns the equivalent of $90,000 can split it with his stay-at-home wife so that each pays tax on only $45,000. In fact, France goes even further and allows parents to split incomes with their kids too (each of the first two children is worth half an adult, and subsequent kids are worth a full adult). The move children you're supporting, the lower your tax rate.

Daniele Belanger says lower taxes made a huge difference to her family's standard of living during a year in France. But taxes were just the beginning. "In France, the general premise is that the majority of families have two working parents, so the infrastructure is deisgned form the ground up to meet th eneeds of people in that situation," says the marrie dmother of three. "In Canada, the majority of families have two parents working too, but th esystem hasn't changed since the '60s, when the mother usually stayed home."

In France, access to licensed, affordable daycare is viewed as a right, says Belanger, a sociology professor in London, ONt. Daycare is available for children six months old and up and the cost is susbsidized and geared to income, so it's affordable to everyone. Those with three of more children are rewarded with an extra monthly allowance of about $400, plus the famouse carte family nombreuse ("the large family card"). This token of appreciation to large families provides the kinds of benefits usually reserved for seniors, such as 50% off train tickets if you book in advance, 25% off the Paris subway, and discounts at museums and art galleries. "The general feeling is that society should share the costs of large families because we all benefit," says Belanger. "Whereas here in Canada, the attitude is it was your crazy decision to have kids, so the more you have, the poorer you'll be."

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