September 9, 2013 / 8:46 PM / in 4 years

France's 75-percent tax to only hit 2013, 2014 salaries: paper

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s planned 75-percent tax on salaries exceeding 1 million euros ($1.3 million) per year will be levied on firms in 2013 and 2014 and only for those two years, French business daily les Echos reported on Monday.

The Socialist government, in line with an election campaign pledge from President Francois Hollande, plans to make firms including football clubs pay a 75-percent tax on the portion of salaries they pay that exceed 1 million euros.

Hollande’s proposal ran into a storm of criticism from sports stars and business leaders in 2012 and was knocked back by France’s Constitutional Court as being confiscatory.

But he has pressed on with an amended plan that taxes companies rather than individuals, which is to be included in the 2014 budget program.

The measure is likely raise only a relatively small amount of money to help pay down the budget deficit, but the government has promoted it as a symbolic act to show that even the richest must contribute to the country’s belt-tightening.

Citing information from the president’s office, Les Echos said the tax - which is likely to hit just a few hundred people in France - would be imposed directly on companies for on salaries paid this year and next year, but not thereafter.

The government also plans to place a ceiling on the tax so it does not exceed a certain, unspecified percentage of the company’s revenue, Les Echos wrote.

Hollande’s office declined to comment on the report.

($1 = 0.7546 euros)

Reporting by Nicholas Vinocur; Editing by Alison Williams

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