France

437. France can legally issue the following three types of rulings within the scope of the transparency framework: (i) preferential regimes;1 (ii) cross-border unilateral APAs and any other cross-border unilateral tax rulings (such as an advance tax ruling) covering transfer pricing or the application of transfer pricing principles; and (iii) permanent establishment rulings.

438. For France, past rulings are any tax rulings within scope that are issued either: (i) on or after 1 January 2014 but before 1 April 2016; or (ii) on or after 1 January 2010 but before 1 January 2014, provided they were still in effect as at 1 January 2014. Future rulings are any tax rulings within scope that are issued on or after 1 April 2016.

439. In the prior years’ peer review reports, it was determined that France’s undertakings to identify past and future rulings and all potential exchange jurisdictions were sufficient to meet the minimum standard. In addition, it was determined that France’s review and supervision mechanism was sufficient to meet the minimum standard. France’s implementation remains unchanged, and therefore continues to meet the minimum standard.

440. France has met all of the ToR for the information gathering process and no recommendations are made.

441. France has international agreements permitting spontaneous exchange of information, including being a party to the (i) Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters: Amended by the 2010 Protocol (OECD/Council of Europe, 2011[4]) (“the Convention”), (ii) the Directive 2011/16/EU with all other European Union Member States and (iii) bilateral agreements in force with 125 jurisdictions.2

442. For the year in review, the timeliness of exchanges is as follows:

443. In the prior years’ peer review reports, it was determined that France’s process for the completion and exchange of templates were sufficient to meet the minimum standard. With respect to past rulings, no further action was required. France’s implementation in this regard remains unchanged and therefore continues to meet the minimum standard.

444. France has the necessary legal basis for spontaneous exchange of information, a process for completing the templates in a timely way and has completed all exchanges. France has met all of the ToR for the exchange of information process and no recommendations are made.

445. The statistics for the year in review are as follows:

446. France offers an intellectual property regimes (IP regime)3 that is subject to the transparency requirements under the Action 5 Report (OECD, 2015[1]). This regime was amended with effect from 1 January 2019 and is compliant with the nexus approach. It states that the identification of the benefitting taxpayers will occur as follows:

  • New entrants benefitting from the grandfathered IP regime: With respect to the previous form of the regime that existed until 31 December 2018, France should have information available and exchanged on new entrants after the relevant date from which enhanced transparency obligations apply. France has not identified information on new entrants to the previous IP regime, and as such has not exchanged information on these taxpayers. Therefore, France is recommended to identify and exchange information on all new entrants to the IP regime. This recommendation was included in the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 peer review reports, and has not yet been acted upon. The recommendation is therefore retained.

  • Third category of IP assets: The previous form of the regime provided benefits to income from patentable inventions, which appear to be a type of the “third category of IP asset” described in paragraph 37 of the Action 5 report (OECD, 2015[1]). France has not implemented all of the requirements associated with this category of IP assets, thus the transparency requirements described in paragraph 37 would still apply to this case. France did not identify taxpayers benefiting from the third category of IP assets, and as such, has not exchanged information on these taxpayers. This recommendation was included in the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 peer review reports, and has not been acted upon. The recommendation is therefore retained.

    In addition, the amended IP regime will allow benefits for the third category of IP assets.4 Taxpayers benefiting from the regime have to provide a list of relevant assets in their tax return. Based on the tax return, France can identify the taxpayers benefiting from the third category of IP assets.

  • Taxpayers making use of the option to treat the nexus ratio as a rebuttable presumption: The amended IP regime allows for the option to treat the nexus ratio as a rebuttable presumption. Taxpayers opting to do so must obtain a ruling from the tax administration, and are required to list the specific assets for which the presumption was rebutted in their tax return. France confirms that no taxpayer elected to treat the nexus approach as a rebuttable presumption.

447. France notes that it is currently undertaking actions in order to address the recommendation concerning the identification and exchange of information on new entrants to the old IP regime. France has identified all new entrants for the years 2015-2018 and the competent services are currently in the process of identifying for which of those taxpayers, exchanges should take place. Once those taxpayers are identified, the competent services will proceed with the exchange of information with the relevant jurisdictions. However, France notes that it is not able to identify and exchange information on taxpayers benefitting from the third category of IP assets, as the reporting formalities of the old IP regime were not calibrated to collect such information.

References

[3] OECD (2021), BEPS Action 5 on Harmful Tax Practices - Terms of Reference and Methodology for the Conduct of the Peer Reviews of the Action 5 Transparency Framework, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/tax/beps/beps-action-5-harmful-tax-practices-peer-review-transparency-framework.pdf.

[1] OECD (2015), Countering Harmful Tax Practices More Effectively, Taking into Account Transparency and Substance, Action 5 - 2015 Final Report, OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264241190-en.

[2] OECD (ed.) (2017b), Harmful Tax Practices - 2017 Progress Report on Preferential Regimes, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264283954-en.

[4] OECD/Council of Europe (2011), The Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters: Amended by the 2010 Protocol, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264115606-en.

Notes

← 1. With respect to the following preferential regime: Shipping regime.

← 2. Participating jurisdictions to the Convention are available here: www.oecd.org/tax/exchange-of-tax-information/convention-on-mutual-administrative-assistance-in-tax-matters.htm. France also has bilateral agreements with: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China (People’s Republic of), Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, French Polynesia, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hong Kong (China), Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sint Maarten, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

← 3. Reduced corporation tax rate on IP income, formerly known as Reduced rate for long term capital gains and profits from the licensing of IP rights.

← 4. The regime provides for the third category of IP assets (article 238(I)(5) of the French General Tax Code), but will only entry into force by a decree (article 37(III)(2) of the 2020 Finance Law) that was not yet published in 2019.

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