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France: Tax relief available for businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

France: Tax relief for businesses, coronavirus

French President Emmanuel Macron announced 12 March 2020 certain measures to support the French economy and to provide tax relief for companies that are affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

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The tax relief measures allow all companies to defer "without justification, formalities or penalties" the payment of contributions and taxes due in March 2020.

According to an announcement (French) from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, such companies also could benefit from the postponement of social or tax installments or even tax rebates in the most extreme or difficult situations.

The following brief description of the tax relief is based on the announcement as posted on the Ministry’s website and also on information and statements from officials that are being widely reported in the press. 

Postponement of payments of social or tax installments

The announcement refers to "tax or social payments" without further information about taxes that would be covered by the relief measures. It appears that eligible payments would correspond to installments of corporate income tax as well as the monthly social security contributions that are due by 16 March, but the relief measure could also apply to all taxes and levies due in March, including but not limited to, value added tax (VAT) and the specific tax on wages.

The announcement also does not indicate whether this tax relief treatment might be extended beyond March 2020.


KPMG observation

The tax relief announcement does not indicate that a formal request is required from taxpayers. Prudent taxpayers would want to consider informing their local tax or social security office by e-mail or by an online message on the portal impôts.gouv.fr.

Tax rebates in extreme or difficult situations

The French government may grant tax rebates to certain companies facing extreme difficulties as a result of the coronavirus situation.

The tax rebate opportunity, however, appears to be limited because rebates generally would be available only with respect to corporate income tax and would be granted on a case-by-case basis after an examination of the company's situation. The difficulties required to benefit from the rebate appear relatively significant, given that they are described as "companies threatened with disappearance due to the economic impact of COVID-19."


For more information, contact a tax professional with KPMG Avocats in France:

Marie-Pierre Hôo | + 33 (0) 1 55 68 49 09 | mhoo@kpmgavocats.fr

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