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France

French heroin dealer receives 80,000-euro tax bill

Heroin may be illegal in France but that doesn't stop the taxman
Heroin may be illegal in France but that doesn't stop the taxman Reuters

French tax collectors have sent an 80,000-euro tax bill to a heroin dealer, having calculated his likely income from four years of the traffic.

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"How can you tax a business that is completely illegal?" stormed the 40-year-old man's lawyer on Monday, Samira Boudiba.

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Tax-collectors are treating her client's operation as if it was a small business, she claimed.

The man is serving four years in prison, having been found guilty of drug-trafficking in March.

Police seized 40,000 euros in cash after his arrest and his property has been seized to be put up to auction.

That hasn't deterred tax officials, who are clearly keen to do their bit to clear France's deficit.

They have calculated his income over four years, working on the assumption that "heroin is sold at 15 euros per gramme".

They haven't been completely unreasonable, though.

Since the man's suppliers were in Belgium they have deducted 2,000 euros transport costs.

And they have allowed for "personal consumption" of four grammes a day, further reducing the bill to a mere 80,000 euros.

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