I recently had a conversation with two separate Pole Emploi counsellors (who happened to be at our house on two separate occasions). I thought I would share the pearls of Auto Entrepreneur wisdom they gave me.
Thé first was that thé reason the Government is looking to 'scrap' the AE is that too many artisans who would normally be registered under the old 'cotisations up front' regime have switched to being AE in order to save money (and why not?). In effect, there are numerous cases of employers, especially in the building trades, who have been laying off their staff and encouraging them to register as AE so they can be re-employed as contractors for less money all round. Both sides win. The only people to lose out are the Government as they are no longer getting the higher level of cotisations and they are not getting the employer contributions.
This has also led to great resentment, again particularly within the building trade, as there are now huge discrepancies between the levels of cotisations and tax paid by artisans doing roughly the same work.
Secondly, I was advised to make sure that I reported a reasonable figure for revenue on every return. One of the other bugbears of the Government is that too many AEs are registered but are not actually earning enough and so are 'benefitting' from the system but not contributing. Apparently, the move afoot is to withdraw AE status after one year if your returns are not high enough.
From both of these people, I got the impression that the AE system is here to stay but that it needs overhauling to make it fairer and for it to continue benefit the people it was intended for - small start up businesses.
This is, of course only thé opinion of two people, but I thought as they are working at thé AE coal face (one of them is an AE advisor at thé Pôle Emploi) they probably know as much as anyone.