Financial laws: tax measures affecting businesses

“Gold is money. Everything else is a loan” in the 19th century banker J.-P. Morgan preached. At the beginning of 2023, two never-explored levels bring up the famous formula: on the one hand, the inevitable passage of the 3,000 billion euro public debt in France, and on the other. The massive purchase of physical gold by central banks has even increased the volume of gold purchases to the highest level observed in fifty-five years!

Among the many lessons that all of this can inspire is surely the observation that the balancing act long performed by monetary institutions is becoming increasingly precarious, and that efforts by states to clean up their public finances are more demanding than ever. However, it is not yet this year that financial laws will disrupt the taxation landscape. Review of the most important events related to companies.

Contribution to added value of companies.

As expected, the financial law for 2023 approves the two-stage elimination of the contribution to the added value of companies, which was already halved by the financial law for 2021, which will be further halved from January 1, 2023, before being completely abolished. , 2024. Mechanically, the territorial economic contribution (consisting of the property contribution of CVAE and companies) will see its ceiling level according to the downwardly revised added value. In total, the event is estimated to benefit more than 530,000 businesses.

Corporation tax.

The finance law further increases the ceiling for the application of the reduced corporation tax rate (IS) applicable to SMEs with a turnover of less than or equal to EUR 10 million excluding taxes and at least 75% of whose capital is directly or indirectly held. individuals, to increase profits from 38,200 euros to 42,500 euros. Given that this reduced rate is 15% compared to 25% for the normal rate, the maximum expected gain from this measure is only €438. An event with very little impact, let’s say… The culmination of the last legislative adventures of the year and a potential future red thread for 2023 and the following: the question of the contribution of large companies.

The 2023 finance law approves a two-stage abolition of the contribution to the added value of companies, which has already been halved by the 2021 finance law, to be further reduced in 2023 before being completely abolished on 1 January 2024.

Digital Services Tax.

As for the digital sector, let’s recall in advance that French law has introduced a tax on digital services since 2019, targeting companies with a turnover of at least 750 million euros, of which 25 million euros are of French origin. and consists of a 3% tax levy on turnover generated by certain ad targeting and engagement services provided by the digital interface. However, the finance law, without changing it, fixes the contours of this tax by redefining some exceptional cases. If this topic is important to monitor, it is because a proposal of the same nature may soon emerge as part of the work on a future “Gafam tax” targeting digital giants at the European level. .

Temporary solidarity contribution.

As far as the energy sector is concerned, the financial law incorporates into French law the temporary solidarity contribution to be paid by certain companies in the energy sector, adopted by EU Council ministers. In summary, the “super profits” tax will hit companies operating in the crude oil, natural gas, coal and refining sectors in France that derive at least 75% of their turnover from extractive activities, oil refining or the production of coke products. . It will be paid at the rate of 33% on the basis of excess taxable income for the first financial year beginning on or after January 1, 2022, as compared to 120% of the average of the results recorded for the previous four financial years. The devil is in the details, it should be noted that the measure assumes that this average will be negative by ensuring that the contribution will be taken from the first euro of the observed positive result for 2022. Such a calculation method is obviously very serious. when we know that many companies in the energy sector have suffered huge losses in the lockdown periods that have continued since 2020.

Tax measures introduced in 2022.

The subject of exceptional deemed profits gives us an opportunity to look back at measures in the same spirit which the legislature would have been inclined to introduce during the past year. First, the idea is made of an additional contribution to the exceptional profits of large companies, which will affect the profit portion of more than 1.25 times of the average taxable results for 2017, according to a scale of rates up to 33%. , the 2018 and 2019 financial years of companies with a turnover of more than 750 million euros. This proposal, which was presented within the framework of the joint initiative referendum procedure, was considered inappropriate by the Constitutional Council because it was content to create a new tax without basing it on reforms related to the nation’s economic policy. The conditions for opening the referendum could not be seen as satisfactory. Secondly, the opposition parties will have expressed their willingness to pay additional dividends if they are 1.20 times higher than the 2017-2021 average of companies with a turnover of more than 750 million euros. A 5-point increase in the flat-rate income tax levy payable by individual beneficiaries. For a number of reasons, including the fact that only natural persons permanently resident in France are affected and the calculation method does not take into account the fact that most companies reduce or even cancel their dividends during the, the amendment in question was simply and simply rejected by the government.

Electronic invoice coming soon.

In addition to the above, preparations should be made today for the introduction of electronic invoicing, which will be mandatory among companies from July 1, 2024 and will accompany the obligation along with the dematerialized transfer of invoices (e-invoice). to transmit information on certain international trade transactions to tax authorities (e-report).

New methods of taxation for the liberal professions.

Finally, freelance professionals associated with freelance companies should ensure that they expect new taxation methods in the non-commercial profit category of the remuneration they receive for the performance of their freelance activities (and not under the social mandate). able to demonstrate the existence of a subordination relationship that characterizes paid activity in the company. Haro great job! With more or less success, as we have just seen, the legislator will tend to accommodate large companies that are considered “super” profitable. While we wait to find out if this strategy will pay off or if it will just add to the inventory of “super” taxes we know the secret to, we all hope that 2023 will not experience the same upheavals of volatility as before. those and will be placed under the appeasement sign.

I am Louis Giordano and I am Stéphane Cadeau-Belliard, lawyers at the Grenoble Bar.

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