More than 8,000 French households were hit with tax bills that eclipsed their total income last year, according to Reuters.
Les Echos, citing Finance Ministry data, reported that the culprit was a single levy last year on 2011 incomes of more than 1.3 million euros ($1.67 million).
President Francois Hollande's Socialist government imposed the tax surcharge last year to mitigate the impact of a rebate created by its conservative predecessor to cap individual taxation at 50 percent.
More from the Reuters piece:
The government has been forced to redraft a proposed bill to levy a temporary 75 percent tax on earnings over 1 million euros, which had been one of Hollande's campaign pledges.
The Constitutional Council has judged such a high rate of taxation to be unfair, leaving the government to rehash it to hit companies rather than individuals.
Since then, a top administrative court has determined that a marginal tax rate higher than 66.66 percent on a single household risked being considered as confiscatory by the council.
Les Echos reported that nearly 12,000 households paid taxes last year worth more than 75 percent of their 2011 revenues due to the exceptional levy. ($1 = 0.7798 euros)