France is a country leaded by political men believing that they have found out a middle way between communism and capitalism. To achieve this goal, they have a magic wand : using tax to redistribute wealth. So, they created a tax for each social problem. To give you an idea to the tax level in France in 1998, a software Engineer can bill its service 50000 F for a month (8000 US$). But, before distribute salary to himself, he will have to pay VAT, professional tax and civil responsibility insurance (obligatory insurance from private company), illness tax, the first old age tax, widowhood tax, an additional old age tax, an additional illness tax, a tax for homeless, an additional homeless tax, a job incident tax, a transportation tax, a jobless tax, an additional jobless tax, a FNGS tax, a second additional old age tax, an old age tax for cadre, an additional old age tax for cadre, a caution contribution, a jobless tax for cadre, a professional teaching tax.
After all these taxes paid, its salary is reduced from 50000 F a month to 15000 F a month but its not over. He should pay some more tax based on an annual income. Income tax at this is paid by layer from 10 % to 54 %). For an annual income of 15000 F* 12 = 180000 F , the income tax is 30000 F. For people with a house of 100 square feet, a home tax rate of approximately 10 000 F a year is taken. The salary is then reduce to 10 000 F a month. There are also classical tax as capital gain on house, stocks (25 %) for people who can save money and also car tax (500/1000 FF a year), oil tax (400 % of oil price) and so on. But it's not over. A very new tax appear the CSG tax of 7 % on overall income (income, capital gains, royalties,…). In a country where hair dresser rate is 100 F, 40 square meter house cost 4000 F a month, taxi rate 120 F. You will see the incredible thing that a software Engineer with 50000 F will avoid to take taxis because its after tax is too low for him to take such an expenses. Moreover, the real power of buying of this software Engineer is so strongly reduced that most of people below 35 years will group together in an apartment and stay (like myself) with their parent. In Japan, an independent software billing 50000 FF a month will have an after tax salary of 35 000 FF and an American 27 000 FF (not 10 000 FF !).
Some tax collection center as illness are divided in several center, each of them collected a tax and give back a part of your medicine bill. Like this if you go to the dentist, you will have to pay 250 FF for one caries, you will have to send two letter. One center will give you 50 Francs back and another center 120 FF back. Notes: Despite of all this taxes, people are never receive welfare service free they should pay a part from their pocket 100 %.
However, political French men are very proud of 40 years of tax history. Each time that a group of people demonstrate in the street to complain about a social problem or in the case of social welfare people or civil servant complains about their salary. French political increases or creates a new tax. But each time, they creates a tax, the society reacts: