The proposal presented by Brazil to tax the super-rich foresees a minimum charge of 2% on the fortunes of billionaires, which could generate around US$250 billion (R$1.2 trillion) per year from the income of 3 thousand individuals according to French economist Gabriel Zucman, author of the proposal during a presentation at the financial G20 this Wednesday afternoon (29).

A partner of Thomas Piketty, a French theorist on income inequality, Zucman is director of the European Union’s Fiscal Observatory and began dialogue with the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva a year ago, when Brazil placed the priorities of its G20 presidency on combating inequalities. “The most important benefit of this measure is social cohesion and belief in democratic institutions. Individuals who are more capable of paying taxes pay less than the working class, this is not sustainable”, defended Zucman.

The option to directly tax fortunes and not income is strategic, explains Zucman, since billionaires often use strategies to hide their income from tax agencies. “The problem this proposal tries to solve is the fact that it is very easy for the super-rich to avoid income tax. So we want to make sure that every year the super-rich pay a minimum amount of income.”

Zucman points out that the United States and France have already expressed support for the proposal and believes that it can gather support from a sufficient number of countries to be implemented.

“It is utopian that we have a total consensus on this type of proposal, but we do not need a global consensus, we can move forward within the coalition of the willing, with the critical mass of countries that support this proposal.”

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday (28) that he personally supports the international tax system for billionaires. In a press conference with journalists, Le Maire said that he has personally advocated for this proposal.

“I am very happy to see that we have made so much progress towards a new international tax system, with the prospect of a system that will be more efficient and fairer than the previous one.”

“We are fully committed to accelerating the process and implementing minimum taxation on individuals to combat any type of tax evasion by individuals across the world.”

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho


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