A “fire unit” will be set up within a week with the key to tax aid for individuals, businesses and communities affected this summer by the fires, announced Monday the Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal in an interview with the Dauphine Libere. “We want to give a little oxygen to all those who have suffered directly from the fires”, declared the minister in the columns of the regional daily, via “devices to support individuals, businesses and communities affected”.
Three measures for individuals whose property is permanently affected
In order to “limit the economic and financial consequences that the French people concerned will have to suffer”, Gabriel Attal Attal and the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire have decided to set up “by next week, a ‘fire unit’ in the public finance department, in conjunction with the Urssaf”, which will be responsible for setting up “a kind of tax buffer”.
For individuals who have seen their property permanently affected, Gabriel Attal already mentions “mainly three measures”: an exceptional deadline for levying income tax, a suspension of local taxes (property tax and housing tax ) concerning damaged housing and a potential downward revision of rental values, “depending on the depreciation of the property”.
Payment deferrals and tax deadlines for businesses
On the business side, the minister promised “deferrals of payment of tax deadlines” and accelerated reimbursement of VAT or CICE credits, “to give their cash flow a boost”. The numerous fires linked to the heat waves that France has been through since June have set a sad record this year: that of the largest surface area of hectares burned at this stage of the year since the start of satellite data in 2006, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), which however specifies that the country experienced worse years in the 1970s, before the European standardized data.
Once the fires have been extinguished, President Emmanuel Macron will bring together all the actors from the departments concerned in order to reflect on the “model of prevention and fight against fires” in France, the Élysée announced on Sunday. “We will have to learn lessons from what has happened and we will change our means of action and anticipation”, added Gabriel Attal on Monday, promising “new measures from next summer”. “In addition, we will continue to increase the resources dedicated to firefighting in the next budget”, he promised, “with additional credits for civil security”.