Social and tax measures related to the Coronavirus epidemic

The government has described the current coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak as “force majeure” and has put in place exceptional measures to manage the impact of this health crisis on businesses and the economy:

  • Possibility of requesting a postponement/set up of instalments for your social charges.
  • Possibility of requesting a postponement/set up of instalments for your direct taxes

1. Social charges

Payment deadlines and instalments can be granted by your local URSSAF for your company’s already overdue social charges.
Exceptionally, the URSSAF can also grant a remission of surcharges and penalties for late payment over the same period.

The taxpayer will have to justify :

  • A decrease in turnover
  • Debts (commercial, suppliers, etc.) to be honoured
  • Cash flow difficulties
  • A decrease in turnover compared to the previous year
  • Etc.

The items on this list are not cumulative and the list is indicative. Any element likely to justify a delay in payment or a discount can be provided.
It should be remembered that the granting of these deadlines and discounts remains entirely discretionary.

No particular formality is requested to submit your request.
Most of the URSSAF regional centres indicate that they have organised themselves accordingly and are able to process requests quickly.

2. Taxes

The Tax Authorities have invited companies affected by the Coronavirus outbreak to contact their local tax office to request a postponement / set up of instalments for their direct taxes.

The taxpayer will have to justify :

  • A drop in turnover
  • Debts (commercial, suppliers, etc.) to be honoured
  • Cash flow difficulties
  • A decrease in turnover compared to the previous year
  • Etc.

The items on this list are not cumulative and the list is indicative. Any element likely to justify a delay in payment or a discount can be provided.
It should be remembered that the granting of these delays and discounts remains entirely discretionary.

This is an adaptation of a pre-existing system to request a postponement/spreading out of a company’s outstanding tax debts in the event of exceptional and temporary difficulties.

On top of the justifications to be provided regarding the company’s financial difficulty, in the pre-existing system, three additional conditions had to be met in order to hope for a favorable decision:

  • The company must be up to date with its reporting obligations and usually meet its tax deadlines.
  • Difficulties must be temporary, exceptional and unpredictable.
  • The settlement plan must include sufficient safeguards to preserve the Tax Authorities’ rights.

In the absence of any contrary indication on this point so far, it would appear that these three conditions would continue to be a prerequisite for claims related to the economic impact of the Coronavirus epidemic.

Requests should be made to your local tax office, using a specific form, which can be downloaded here.

The entire ALTEXIS team remains at your disposal to accompany you in constituting your request and the subsequent steps to be taken.

Article dated March 12, 2020 – Authors: Me Marine Perrot, Attorney at the Paris Bar, Solédade Ducros