In a tribune up to the "World", the economist Eric Chaney believes that the initiative "Change by the gift", object of bad controversy, is useful for financing research, culture and solidarity.
Stand. The initiative "Change by the gift", promoted by Denis Duverne and Serge Weinberg, is the subject of biting criticism. It welcomes the generous dimension of the initiative – a public and nominal obligation to give 10% of its income or heritage to recognized associations and foundations – but its objectives and rationality are questioned. Because donations are subject to tax incentives, they would reduce public spending that would benefit all citizens, while their goals would only be chosen by donors. Moreover, this tax assistance would increase income inequality.
This criticism is unfounded. It is true that donations enjoy a strong tax incentive in France, since the deduction rate is 66% for income tax and 75% for property tax (IFI), under certain conditions. limits. But it is tendentious to suggest that as a result donations impose other public actions in favor of the rest of the citizens.
Take the case of donations that qualify for a reduction of the IFI, which are made by the richest taxpayers, precisely those who are the subject of the above criticism. Organizations and foundations that are eligible for the tax deduction must have previously obtained the recognition of public utility (RUP) from the Ministry of the Interior, which, if it deems it necessary, will seek advice from the Council of State. The area of beneficiaries of tax-favored donations is therefore chosen by the government, which itself is subject to democratic control. Here is an important example: over the last decade, a growing number of universities and research institutions have established foundations that benefit from the OR to gain more financial autonomy and their position in the international competition for excellence.
"Thanks to the tax reduction, tax expenditures of 100 euros make it possible to distribute between 133 and 150 euros for research, a very noticeable leverage effect"
This is the result of public awareness of the need to increase funding for scientific research. From this point of view, it is interesting to reverse the equation, often presented as a way to force the state's hand through tax expenditures: thanks to the tax reduction, a tax expense of 100 euros can be allowed to allocate 133 to 150 euros in research, a very noticeable leverage effect given the state of our public finances.