The executive continues to defend itself against accusations of complacency with regard to the tax optimization practices of the firm McKinsey, noted by a recent Senate report which denounced, moreover, the weight taken by consulting firms in aid to the decision of large public administrations. “We have no lessons to take from anyone in the fight against tax optimization”hammered on Europe 1, Wednesday, March 30, the Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery, Bruno Le Maire.
The American firm has been closely scrutinized since the publication of a report by the Senate on March 18, which accused its two main French entities of having paid no corporate tax in France between 2011 and 2020, even though the he French State has often had recourse to his services. In defense, McKinsey first claimed to have paid “422 million euros in taxes and social charges”, by maintaining the confusion between corporation tax and social security contributions paid on the remuneration of its employees. A week later, McKinsey explained that one of its subsidiaries had indeed paid corporation tax for six years. Due to the lack of transparency on its accounts, it is impossible to independently verify the firm’s claims.
For Bruno Le Maire, the oppositions “highlight cases that do not exist”
For Bruno Le Maire, the McKinsey affair is “the proof of the immense disarray of the opposition (…) who elevate things that don’t exist”. Emmanuel Macron “has for five years fought tax evasion, fought tax optimization, set up the taxation of digital giants”, listed Bruno Le Maire. The president also “raised the minimum tax on the largest companies to 15%”he added.
Wednesday evening, a press briefing – initially scheduled for Thursday March 31 – is organized in Bercy by the Minister for Public Transformation, Amélie de Montchalin, and Olivier Dussopt, Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, to return to the use made by the administration of the services of consulting firms, ten days after the publication of the report of the commission of inquiry in the Senate and several speeches by the President of the Republic on this subject.
“I understand that Emmanuel Macron is annoyed”estimated Bruno Le Maire, two days after a trip where the candidate president had tried at length to justify the use by the State of consulting firms, described as “sprawling phenomenon” by the Senate. “We’ve said a lot of nonsense in the last few days”had slammed the head of state, before calling not to “not to confuse everything”. The day before, on France 3, Emmanuel Macron had also been annoyed with questions on the subject: “We have the impression that there are tricks, it’s not true”he said in particular.
In addition, Bruno Le Maire assured that a “tax audit” had been launched by Bercy against McKinsey “before the Senate report”, published in mid-March, which an article published by The chained Duck, in its Wednesday edition. Contacted by Agence France-Presse, the ministry did not wish to provide further details on the timetable for this tax audit.
According to another article, published Wednesday in The letter a, the Directorate General of Public Finance would have launched this audit in December 2021. The audit would cover two French entities of the American firm, McKinsey & Company INC. France and McKinsey & Company SAS, precisely the two companies singled out by the Senate in its report. “We know that large international companies make profits in France. We will verify (…). McKinsey will pay all the taxes it owes to France rubis sur la ongle”insisted Bruno Le Maire on Europe 1.