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The Politics of Tax Exemptions for Household Services in France

Abstract : France stands out as the pioneer in Europe in terms of supporting the development of household services through tax policies, and it is also the country that offers the most extensive public support to this sector, both in scope and generosity. Since 1991, households purchasing domestic services can benefit from a 50% tax reduction on the costs incurred, up to a ceiling currently (in 2015) set at €12,000. At the time the scheme was introduced, the policy goals were to provide help to the elderly, to support families with young children in balancing work and family, and to increase employment. In 2005, a major reform known as the Plan Borloo (see Chapter 3) considerably expanded the list of domestic services eligible for the tax reduction. Thus, besides activities to care for the elderly and children, services such as gardening, walking the dog, IT help or delivering groceries have been included in the list of tax-deductible household services. The law also lowered the value added tax (VAT) on private firms providing these new services, and both firms and private employers were exonerated from a large part of their share of social contributions. These different schemes have been promoted and supported by left and right-wing governments alike.
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Virginie Guiraudon, Clémence Ledoux. The Politics of Tax Exemptions for Household Services in France. Clément Carbonnier; Nathalie Morel. The Political Economy of Household Services in Europe, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.39 - 59, 2015, 9781137473721. ⟨hal-02296028⟩



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