Taxes on some wealthy French top 100 pct of income - paper

PARIS (REUTERS) - More than 8,000 French households'tax bills topped 100 per cent of their income last year, the business newspaper Les Echos reported on Saturday, citing Finance Ministry data.

The newspaper said that the exceptionally high level of taxation was due to a one-off levy last year on 2011 incomes for households with assets of more than 1.3 million euros (S$2.1 million).

President Francois Hollande's Socialist government imposed the tax surcharge last year, shortly after taking office, to offset the impact of a rebate scheme created by its conservative predecessor to cap an individual's overall taxation at 50 per cent of income.

The government has been forced to redraft a proposed bill to levy a temporary 75 per cent tax on earnings over 1 million euros, which had been one of Hollande's campaign pledges.

The Constitutional Council has judged such a high rate of taxation to be unfair, leaving the government to rehash it to hit companies rather than individuals.

Since then, a top administrative court has determined that a marginal tax rate higher than 66.66 per cent on a single household risked being considered as confiscatory by the council.

Les Echos reported that nearly 12,000 households paid taxes last year worth more than 75 per cent of their 2011 revenues due to the exceptional levy.