Undeclared swimming pools, retirees abroad, fraudulent prescriptions… after a record year, the fight against fraud will be tough

Undeclared swimming pools, retirees abroad, fraudulent prescriptions… after a record year, the fight against fraud will be tough

Gabriel Attal and Thomas Cazenave, Wednesday, in Bercy. MAXPPP – Alexis Sciard

After 15.2 billion euros recovered in 2023, “historic” results, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal raises the objectives. The means implemented to track offenses are reinforced.

Some 15.2 billion euros were recovered in 2023 in the fight against tax fraud, "historic results" , announced Prime Minister Gabriel Attal on Wednesday. Who intends to further increase efforts in this direction between now and the end of the five-year term.

"We have never tracked fraud so much", he underlined, presenting the results of the plan he initiated at Bercy, now carried by his successor Thomas Cazenave, minister in charge of public accounts.

"On social fraud, the results exceed all the objectives that we set ourselves for last year", explained the head of government, quoted by the daily Les Échos.

Controls of retirees abroad doubled

The symbolic threshold of 2 billion euros in social fraud uncovered in one year has thus been exceeded. With 400 million euros in family allowance fraud, almost 50 million more compared to 2022.

70 apprenticeship contracts in one hairdressing salon

The detection of people falsely declaring themselves French residents has doubled, with 97 million euros recovered."We have doubled the checks on retirees residing abroad and we detected 750 fraudulent files in Algeria alone, last year", said Gabriel Attal.

More old age insurance fraud has also been noted (+20%), but also singular anomalies, such as these 70 apprenticeship contracts in one and the same hair salon.

"In 2027, we will have recruited 1 000 agents"

Offences affecting health insurance have reached the astronomical figure of 450 million euros, from fictitious acts invoiced, to false prescriptions and work stoppages, in going through fraud in health centers, 21 of which were defunded.

160 other checks are currently being carried out in the health sector, particularly among hearing care professionals. Gabriel Attal will also make the merger of the vital card and the identity card a priority. While relying on artificial intelligence, which made it possible to identify 140,000 undeclared swimming pools last year, the government wishes to go further, particularly in the fight against tax fraud .

"Modernizing our detection tools"

"281 agents were recruited last year and an additional 350 will be recruited in 2024", specified Gabriel Attal.

"Against social fraud, in 2027, we will have recruited 1 000 agents, trained 450 cyber investigators and invested more than a billion euros to modernize our detection tools", he promised.

The action will be coordinated by a National Anti-Fraud Office for Public Finances, created by a decree published on Wednesday, in place of the Judicial Finance Investigation Service, with expanded and workforce doubled by 2025.

Questionable drug prescriptions and sales

The objectives will be raised at the same time. "I asked Health Insurance to go even further by setting a target of 2.4 billion euros of frauds detected between 2024 and 2027", specified the tenant of Matignon. With a particular effort focused on health centers and fraudulent prescriptions and sales of medicines.

Urssaf adjustments will have to increase to "5.5 billion euros over the five-year term". The head of government reaffirms at the same time his desire to be "intractable"&nbsp ;towards big fraudsters, but "to ease the pressure on the small taxpayer".

"Never have so many taxpayers benefited from penalty cancellations based on their good faith", he said.

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