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Le consentement à l’impôt en France : les contribuables, l’administration et le problème de la confiance. Une étude de cas en Seine-et-Oise (années 1860 - années 1930)

Abstract : This paper discusses a question neglected by historiography of contemporary France but fundamental to the understanding of the relationship between the State and society over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: How has the State obtained the approval of its citizens in support of its fiscal prerogatives? For what reasons, and by what logic, do citizens accept, or not, the obligation to pay taxes. We will address this political and administrative problem using a local case from a former region of the Seine-et-Oise reputedly docile on the question of taxation. The hypothesis presented is that the acculturation of citizens to taxation is less the result of the use of force and constraint than it is of the administration’€™s efforts to create a relationship of confidence between the State and taxpayers. The control of tax collectors, the attention granted to taxpayers’ complaints and the construction of a fair and neutral administration are the reasons behind the enforcement of tax compliance in the 19th century. However, the First World War and the implementation of income tax motivated by objectives to produce more tax and for social justice, challenged this state of trust. The development of tax fraud, real or imagined, and the increase in fiscal pressure paved the way for a renewal of collective action against taxation. Consent to taxation, far from being a linear civilizing process, depends on fragile institutional and political balances, which rest on the creation of trust between taxpayers and the State.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 21, 2022 - 9:41:25 AM
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Nicolas Delalande. Le consentement à l’impôt en France : les contribuables, l’administration et le problème de la confiance. Une étude de cas en Seine-et-Oise (années 1860 - années 1930). Revue d'Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, Societe D'histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, 2009, 2009/2 (56-2), pp.135-163. ⟨10.3917/rhmc.562.0135⟩. ⟨hal-03582147⟩

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