A month after the launch of the withholding tax on income, there is a strong temptation to cry for triumph. Despite the bug risks that had been mentioned for a year, everything went well. But this indisputable technical success in no way purges the question of the advisability of a changeover which was by no means necessary and has many serious drawbacks.
The first of them is obviously the transfer of costs in which it consists: the State, in this affair, has once again transferred its work to the employers, transformed into tax collectors on behalf of third parties. Companies, responsible for collecting income tax from their employees, have only two choices: take on the chore themselves … or pay for an accountant to take care of it (30 to 50 euros per employee per year in an SME). There is something obscene in the fact that the State, in a country where the public power already carries out so many deductions and expenditures (we are world recordmen in both matters!), Requisitions companies in addition to do what is, its job.
Corollary of the previous problem: the employer and the employee are put by the withholding tax in a new situation, full of difficulties. The first learns information about the second which it does not have to know. Admittedly, a “neutral” rate can be requested by the employee, but it is a small minority who have chosen this option so that most employees now “expose” their tax rate (therefore their level of wealth and their income. family status). Above all, the two parties find themselves in a salary tête-à-tête polluted by exogenous and irrelevant indications. The employer may be tempted to think that an employee who pays so little income tax that he is “well paid” compared to his colleagues is not particularly in need of a raise. Symmetrically, an employee whose income tax increases for reasons that have nothing to do with his salary will be tempted to ask his employer to “compensate” for this loss: after all, isn’t it at the bottom? from his payroll that his misfortune now appears?