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UNAGRAPS is a non-profit association (French association law of 1901).

Our objectives are to gain recognition of discriminations against persons living alone 1 and to obtain changes to laws, administrative rules or attitudes that cause the issues described below.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:

French tax law.
According to the law, “citizens pay tax according to their ability to contribute”.

Income tax is based on the household composition. In a two-person household, the income of both are combined and divided by two. The appropriate tax rate is applied to one half and thereafter adjusted by multiplication. It is a complicated system which, in most situations leads to lower tax for each member of the couple than for a single person with comparable income. We only compare single persons with couples without children.

  • Basic unavoidable expenses, such as housing, heating, electricity, insurance, major household equipment (refrigerator, stove...) are more or less the same for one- and two-person households. Statistics 2 confirm this fact and show that the current system results in a lower standard of living for one-person households than for those of two persons. Based on this fact, UNAGRAPS proposes modifications to the tax system to take into account the lesser “ability to contribute” of one-person households.
  • Tax credits are also based on the household composition. For example, installing a new heating system entitles a single person to a tax credit of 5.000€ whereas a couple may deduct 10.000€. The tax credit for adapting the home of a single handicapped person is 8.000€ compared to 16.000€ fora couple. Why? Do couples need two heating systems or the single person only half a system? Do handicapped married persons need more special equipment than singles?

UNAGRAPS proposes that tax credits should be related to equipment installed and not to marital status.

Miscellaneous social allowances (housing aid, access to exemptions…)

Most allowances or exemptions are based on the previous year's tax. Because single persons generally pay proportionally more tax than a couple, he/she will often not be eligible. This phenomenon ought to disappear if the tax system is modified.

Note: the taxing concept described does not always apply! When the State is the provider of an allowance, (housing aid for example), the amounts take into account that the basic living costs of a couple are not twice those of the single person, whilst it maintains this fallacy when taxing them.

Local garbage removal taxes are often based on the size of the house rather than on the number of occupants or the volume of garbage.

Social Security Contributions

A single person's contribution is the same as that of a married person with a non- working wife. If in a couple both work and have several children, each worker contributes for one person. The worst case is that of a head of household with a non-working wife and several children. For single persons, one contribution provides coverage for one; for married people one contribution provides coverage for 1 + x.

UNAGRAPS suggests that contributions should be based on the number of persons covered, as in many voluntary health insurance schemes where a small fee is added per additional person insured.

Inheritance tax

French inheritance tax rates are among the highest in Europe. Nephews and nieces are taxed at 55% after a deductible amount of 7.967€*. More distant relatives and non-related persons are taxed at 60% after a deductible of 1.594€.

  • UNAGRAPS proposes significant reductions in the rates and substantial increases in exemptions.

* Recently modified to 35/45% if the parents of the niece/nephew are deceased or renounce the heritage.

Other issues

Hotels and travel: hotel rates and travel packages which include a supplement for single rooms should be reviewed as they are often disproportionate and are even occasionally applied for single occupancy of single rooms! UNAGRAPS has submitted a dossier on this subject for a European Commission project on tourism.

Media: articles about cost of living and taxation often exclude or misrepresent the one-person household. A recent article illustrated the impact of planned taxation changes by showing three cases: a “rich one- person household”, a “low income family with two children”, and “a well-off family with two children”.

UNAGRAPS
12/2012

1) unmarried, widows, divorced
2) INSEE, OFCE

Since 2009, UNAGRAPS is listed in the European Transparency Register

Union Européenne – Registre de Transparence – No 53428222149-96

Contact : Maison des Associations du 12e, UNAGRAPS – Boite 14. 181 Avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris

E-mail: unagraps@gmail.com