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Originally an engineer of the École Polytechnique with the French postal and telephone service (PTT), he joined the French tax inspectorate after World War II. In 1952, he became joint director of the new tax authority, the Direction générale des impôts, which he had helped to create.
In 1954, he invented an indirect tax on consumption which became the TVA. His idea was quickly adopted because it forced taxpayers at all levels in the production process to administer and account for the tax themselves, rather than putting the burden only on retailers or requiring assessment by the tax authorities.
His name is associated to the fr:Taxe Lauré which is a tax on import goods from countries having an unfair advantage about salaries and working conditions.