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The plan for self-employed workers

On 5 September 2017, the Prime Minister presented the Government’s programme for self-employed workers. This plan of action aims to support business creation, increase purchasing power and improve social protection for the self-employed, and to simplify and improve the quality of services.
 
WHAT DOES THIS INVOLVE?

The key measures for self-employed workers are:

Purchasing power

  • Compensation for the increase in the CSG (General Social Contribution) by a reduction in social contributions.
  • A boost in purchasing power for 75% of self-employed workers through a degressive exemption from health and maternity insurance contributions.
  • Abolition of the minimum Corporate Property Contribution (CFE) for very small businesses from 2019.
In detail:
  • A 2.15-point reduction in the "family" contribution for all self-employed workers.
  • A 5-point degressive reduction in the health contribution up to 43,000 euros, giving a further 1.5-point reduction in contributions.
  • An increase in contributions paid into the basic retirement pension scheme for registered doctors working in Sector 1 and registered nurses in low-density areas, in order to offset the increase in CSG for these professionals.
  • Exemption from the minimum contribution for those liable to pay the Corporate Property Contribution (CFE) for businesses with a turnover of less than 5,000 euros. This loss in revenue for municipalities and public institutions for intermunicipal cooperation (EPCI) will be compensated by the State.

Support for business creation

  • Extension of the system of assistance available to unemployed people starting or taking over a business (ACCRE) to all those starting or taking over a business from 1 January 2019.
  • Establishment of a personal manager in URSSAF (family benefits and social security contributions collecting body) to provide business creators with more individual support in their endeavours.
In detail:
  • Total exemption from social security contributions (except CSG, CRDS (Social Debt Repayment Contribution) and supplementary pension contributions) during the first year of activity if the business creator’s income is less than 30,000 euros, followed by degressivity up to 40,000 euros.
  • In addition, degressive exemptions for three years for sole traders.

A new organisation of social protection

  • Linking the RSI (self-employed workers’ health insurance plan) to the general social security scheme as of 1 January 2018.
  • A more efficient and modern organisation, which takes account of the specific characteristics of self-employed workers and shall be definitively in place no later than 31 December 2019.
  • A contribution scheme that remains distinct from that of employees.
In detail:
  • Simplification of procedures for those covered by social security in their career paths, by removing the steps required to move from one scheme to the other when an employee becomes self-employed or vice versa.
  • A transitional phase of approximately two years during which the various missions of the RSI (pension liquidation, health insurance, collection of contributions, etc.) will be gradually taken over by the funding bodies of the general scheme (CPAM, CARSAT and URSSAF).
  • Social benefits specific to the self-employed will remain as such, in particular with the payment of contributions for insured persons experiencing difficulties or the supplementary pension scheme (RCI).

An extensive project to simplify and improve the quality of services

  • Unification of tax and social returns by 2020.
  • Possibility to adjust contributions in real time.
  • Easy pension management.
  • Simplified collection procedures for liberal professionals.
  • Modernisation of the relationship with the insured.
  • Doubling of the ceilings for the micro-enterprise scheme from 2018.
  • End of the "proratisation" of turnover for sole traders whose activity is seasonal.
  • Creation of an application for the tax returns of micro-entrepreneurs from the first quarter of 2018 and redesign of the lautoentrepreneur.fr website from the third quarter of 2018.
In detail:
  • Self-employed workers preparing for retirement or retirees will be able to benefit from the same online services as retirees who come under the general scheme from 2018.
  • Transfer of the collection of health insurance contributions to a single organisation (URSSAF) instead of three from 1 January 2018.
  • At the end of 2018, it will be possible to choose how (text, email or post) reminders will be sent before each quarterly deadline for the payment of social contributions.
  • Payment of contributions by credit card will gradually be activated.
  • For those who want it, the possibility of adjusting, on a monthly or quarterly basis, their contribution amounts according to the level of their activity. This system will be tested in 2018 with the aim of implementing it widely from 2019.
  • In case of payment difficulties, the possibility of requesting a deferment, via a digital service, and to be granted payment terms in advance from October 2017.
  • The ceilings for the micro-entrepreneur scheme will be increased to 170,000 euros for the sale of goods (instead of 82,800 euros), and to 70,000 euros for the provision of services (instead of 33,100 euros) from 2018.
  • An application will enable micro-entrepreneurs to declare their income quickly and easily from the first quarter of 2018.

WHY?

The Government’s programme for self-employed workers implements the promises made by the President of the Republic during the presidential campaign. It is consistent with the fiscal policy and in-depth renovation programme for our social model being led by the Government.

The measures for this programme of action are aimed at supporting those who take the risk of starting a business, by removing the obstacles, which are still too numerous, standing in their way.

These measures are part of the Government’s ambition to improve remuneration for work by alleviating burdens and by ensuring that the funding of social protection is based more on the CSG, which is paid by all. The measures also aim to radically simplify the lives of the self-employed so that they can dedicate themselves fully to their activities. The purpose of these measures is to guarantee self-employed workers social protection that is as quick and efficient as that enjoyed by employees, while continuing to take account of their specific characteristics.

This government plan will soon be complemented by further measures, including the extension of unemployment insurance to self-employed workers, "a very strong measure of equality (…), but also the encouragement of daring and initiative. Individuals must be able to start their businesses without necessarily breaking the bank if things go wrong", the Prime Minister stressed during the presentation of the Government’s programme for self-employed workers.
 
ACTION TAKEN
5 September 2017: presentation of the Government’s programme for self-employed workers by the Prime Minister in Dijon.
 


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