Heritage, insurance, unemployment… Emmanuel Macron’s plan to protect the self-employed

The crisis has highlighted the weaknesses of the self-employed. In order to help them through this period, Emmanuel Macron presented an action plan. Its objective is to better protect self-employed workers against the accidents of life, to support them from the creation to the transition of their business, but also to simplify their administrative procedures which sometimes prove to be tedious. This plan concerns the 3 million self-employed people, whether craftsmen, traders or liberal professionals. Twenty proposals were submitted. Most of them must be found in an “independent” bill presented to the Council of Ministers on September 29th. Budgetary measures must also be taken within the framework of the finance bill and the Social Security financing bill which will be studied this autumn in Parliament. Here are the main actions announced.

The personal assets of the self-employed better protected

The President of the Republic presents it as the flagship measure of the independent plan: the end of taking into account the personal assets of the independent in the event of professional failure. Today, in the event of bankruptcy, the personal assets of the self-employed person can be seized, with the exception, since 2015, of the main residence. To put an end to this possibility, a single status for the individual entrepreneur (EI) will be introduced, which will have the effect of abolishing that of individual entrepreneur with limited liability (EIRL). Thus, unless the entrepreneur decides otherwise, his personal assets will be unseizable. Only the elements essential to the exercise of his professional activity may be seized.

This measure should concern companies created after the entry into force of the law. For those already created, this distinction between professional and personal assets should only concern new debts.

Reduction in the price of optional insurance to protect yourself in the event of an accident at work or occupational disease

As a self-employed person, you have the right to benefit from the assumption of responsibility for your health costs in the event of an accident at work or occupational disease. For this, it is necessary to subscribe, in addition to the compulsory insurance, to a voluntary insurance scheme, the price of which varies according to the sector of activity. This protection being optional today only 45,000 of the 3 million independents have subscribed to it. To encourage more self-employed people to protect themselves, the government plans to reduce the rates of this optional insurance by 30%, without reducing coverage in the event of a problem. The mandatory scheme is not affected by this reduction. This measure may come into force in 2022 by decree.

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Extended self-employed unemployment benefit

In force since November 1, 2019, the self-employed workers’ allowance (ATI) has so far never really found its audience. As a reminder, it was then a question of setting up aid of around 800 euros per month, for 6 months, for the self-employed who had carried out a self-employed activity for a minimum of 2 years. One condition, however, is that the company in question is subject to receivership or judicial liquidation proceedings. A criterion that is far too restrictive given the failure of the system, with only 911 beneficiaries at the end of February 2021. To democratize it, the ATI will be accessible from 2022 to workers who have ceased their activity definitively, “when the latter does not ‘was not economically viable”, specifies the press kit of the Independent Plan. To meet this criterion of “non-viability” and thus be eligible for aid, the tax income of the self-employed worker (TNS) must have plunged by at least 30% from one year to the next. For example, a trader subject to serious economic difficulties, with income down 50% and who had had to cease his activity, could not until then claim ATI without having placed his company in receivership or in liquidation. judicial. With this new measure, he will be able to benefit from the allowance.

Another obstacle removed for the accessibility of the ATI, the condition of minimum income requested, fixed up to 10,000 euros on average over the last two years of activity. A criterion that would cause up to 75% of the reasons for rejecting ATI’s request according to LREM deputy Dominique Da Silva. The amount required will be limited, from 2022, to 10,000 euros of income in only one of the last two financial years. Thus, a restaurateur justifying 10,000 euros then 7,000 euros in annual income over the two years preceding his request was deprived of the ATI, the average of the two years being limited to 8,500 euros. With this measure, he will become eligible for the allowance.

Real-time premium payment

The practice is currently being tested in Occitania and Ile-de-France and could be generalized. The self-employed should soon be able to calculate and pay their contributions according to the actual state of their activity. This makes it possible to modulate contributions in the event of a crisis. A device that will avoid waiting a year to benefit from a regularization of contributions. In addition, in the event of a poor estimate of their income, the self-employed will no longer be penalized. This measure could be taken in the Social Security financing bill (PLFSS) for 2022.

Enhanced protection during the crisis

Two measures must be presented in the next Social Security budget to limit the damage of the crisis for the self-employed. In terms of retirement, they will be able to validate quarters on the basis of income received over the past three years. Thus, if in 2020 they have received little income, they will not be penalized and quarters of retirement may still be counted. As a reminder, the validation of a quarter of retirement for the self-employed is calculated according to a minimum net turnover which depends on its branch of activity. For example, you need a turnover of 2,280 euros net per year to validate a quarter of retirement if you exercise a regulated liberal profession. This figure rises to 4,137 euros in the hotel and restaurant sector. This concerns the self-employed who have suffered administrative closures and those in the S1 and S1 bis sectors (hotels, restaurants, entertainment sector, etc.).

At the same time, a similar system could be put in place for daily allowances (IJ) in the event of sick and maternity leave. The amount paid depends on the income received during the previous three years. However, for those whose income has dropped considerably in 2020, the amount of IJ paid will automatically drop. To avoid this phenomenon, the year 2020 will not be taken into account for the calculation of the level of IJ paid for those who would be disadvantaged by it.

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The tax credit for the training of VSE managers doubled

In order to facilitate the training of self-employed VSE managers, the Plan provides for doubling the tax benefit granted in return for the drop in income suffered during the training period. Concretely, this measure, which must be voted on as part of the finance bill (PLF) for 2022, will allow an individual entrepreneur imposed on the real, who intends to benefit from 40 hours of training in 2022, to benefit from a credit tax of 820 euros, compared to 410 euros in 2021.

Buyouts of businesses more attractive for tax purposes

Among the key measures of the Plan are several boosts to the recovery of a business. Thus, in order to boost the takeover of goodwill between 2022 and 2023, it is planned to authorize the deduction of depreciation (corresponding to the value of the goodwill taken over) from taxable income. The President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron detailed this novelty: “For a goodwill worth 100,000 euros, the measure will make it possible to deduct the depreciation of 10,000 euros per year for 10 years. It’s clear, it’s complete, it’s simple,” he said. “This device will reduce the cost of taking over a business and make the operations of buying back existing business funds more attractive for entrepreneurs who will pay their tax on a lower tax base”, completes the file of hurry.

Tax exemptions on increased capital gains

Another lever concerning the transmission of businesses, removing “the tax brakes on business takeovers”, advanced the Head of State. Two measures go in this direction. First of all, it will be possible for an entrepreneur who sells his activity after his retirement to take advantage of the exemption from professional capital gains if he transfers his business within 36 months of the liquidation of his rights, against 24 months today. This relaxation will be granted on a temporary basis, “to operators who have asserted their pension rights in 2019, 2020 or 2021 before the sale of their company”, specifies the press kit. The workers concerned will therefore have an additional year to find a buyer.

Furthermore, and still to reduce the tax burden on the self-employed, the capital gains exemption ceilings on the sale of a sole proprietorship will be raised. The total exemption limit for the assets transferred will increase from 300,000 to 500,000 euros, that concerning the partial exemption from 500,000 euros to 1 million euros. Thus, in 2022, if this measure is adopted within the framework of the PLF, a TNS selling his company for 500,000 euros with a capital gain of 150,000 euros, will no longer be taxable, which is not currently the case.

The start of activity of the self-employed facilitated

To enable micro-entrepreneurs to finance the start of their professional activity, the Independent Plan aims to eliminate the 90-day period imposed before the first declaration of turnover. A simplification that will allow the main concerned to declare their activity and pay their social contributions as soon as possible, and thus to obtain their certificate of declaration of turnover to Pôle emploi, compulsory for the calculation of their unemployment benefits.

Moreover, while the choice of the tax system (micro or real) must be made on February 1 of each year at the latest, it is planned to shift this deadline “when filing the declaration of results of the previous year, i.e. in the spring”. An additional period which should allow the worker to make his choice in a more informed manner.

Several other measures aim to help entrepreneurs in their early stages. The certificate of vigilance, which allows them to prove that they are up to date with their declarations and payments of social security contributions, will be given to them “without difficulty” after request to Urssaf, without having to wait three months and the first call contributions to recover it. The debts of majority managers of SARLs may be erased as part of a procedure for over-indebtedness of individuals.

A unique information site for entrepreneurs

This is the ultimate measure of the Independent Plan, but certainly not the least important. From the end of 2021, TNS will have access to a single website, “based on a personalized, simple user experience, as close as possible to the daily needs of companies”. The objective is clear: to allow a self-employed worker to find all the practical information and formalities on a single platform, the latter being today “dispersed on many public sites”, points out the government.

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