The tax website struggled to digest the huge influx of taxpayers wishing to declare their income Monday evening, leading the government to grant an extension until Thursday evening midnight. Its operation was restored overnight, the tax administration said Tuesday morning.
“Impots.gouv.fr, faced with the excessive influx of last-minute connections, is experiencing some difficulties. I therefore asked [à la direction générale des finances publiques] to leave 48 hours more (Thursday midnight) to declare his income, “the Minister of Action and Public Accounts Darmanin wrote on Monday evening on his certified Twitter account with the hashtag #administrationbienveillante.
Good evening! https://t.co/vy33oIiqY9, in front of the too important influx of last-minute connections? is experiencing some difficulties. So I asked @dgfip_officiel to leave 48 hours more (Thursday midnight) to declare your income … #administrationbienveillante
— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) June 3, 2019
“There were a lot of connections tonight, more than four million of our compatriots who connected if I may say so at the last moment to fill out their tax forms”, then declared Mr. Darmanin, questioned on the radio Franceinfo.
The Minister attributed this exceptional and late turnout, 24 hours before the initial deadline, to the “effect of this long sunny weekend” of the Ascension, but also “to the increase in the number of people who teledeclare “and” probably a little procrastination. “
“The truth is that more than 3 million people who connect at the same time, obviously, it is a bit the price of the glory and the ease of the declaration of taxes by Internet: it buggy”, noted Mr. Darmanin. He suggested that the website of the tax administration reacted to this large number of simultaneous requests by interpreting it as a computer attack.
“When there are millions of connections in a few minutes, this site protects itself” by refusing new connections, he explained, welcoming the fact that the administration has “not lost the tax data” of taxpayers during this incident. Tuesday evening midnight was until now the deadline for filing online income for residents of the departments of number 50 (Manche) to those of Overseas, therefore including the densely populated departments of Ile-de-France.
Discouraged “paper” statements
Before this, two other deadlines have expired since May 21 and these “first two waves went very well”, according to Mr. Darmanin. The classic “paper” declaration, now in the minority, is supposed to have been sent before May 16.
Among the novelties of the 2019 declaration campaign was the generalization of the online declaration: followers of the paper version in theory incurred a fine of 15 euros if they persisted in sending their declaration by mail. Taxpayers whose main residence is not connected to the Internet or who are unable to do so could in particular continue to use paper, by reporting their situation to the administration.
According to a statement on the imposts.gouv.fr website, more than 21.5 million people had declared their income online until Sunday evening. In total, 38.3 million tax households must declare current or exceptional income received in 2018. Of these, only 16.8 million, or 43% of households, are taxable. This Monday night “bug” tarnishes a positive result for Bercy since the implementation of the withholding tax at the beginning of 2019, which had gone largely without a hitch.
“There is necessarily a small problem that we will succeed in solving (…) we will obviously do things so that it does not happen again”, promised Mr. Darmanin. “It is all the more true that next year, we will put an end to part of the tax declaration, since thanks to the tax at source, 11 million of our compatriots, 11 million tax households , will no longer have to complete tax returns, ”he added.
The minister nevertheless warned the taxpayers who would wait again until the last moment to make their income known to the administration: “Let’s try not to declare all of them on Thursday evening, because otherwise we risk having roughly the same problem”.