[COVID-19] Extension of Tax Deadlines and Publication of Administrative Comments

Updated information, as of the date of publication of this article

Postponement of April payment deadlines and postponement of the date for tax package filing.

As developed in a previous article, the Government has opened the possibility for companies experiencing financial difficulties due to the health crisis to request the postponement of their tax and social security payments from March 2020 (except for VAT and registration fees).

This exceptional measure has just been extended for the fiscal and social deadlines in April, following an announcement by the Minister of Public Action and Accounts last Friday. As for the fiscal deadlines, only direct taxes benefit from the measure, as in the previous month.

As in March, this deferral measure is open to large companies if they commit not to pay dividends in 2020 (cf. our previous article on this subject).

Bercy has also made it official that the deadline for filing tax packages has been extended to 31 May 2020, with respect to income tax returns for financial years ending 31 December 2019. This postponement is applicable regardless of the method of transmission of the tax packages, EDI or EFI (press release dated 3 April 2020).

Publication of administrative comments on the exceptional tax measures taken by ordinance in the context of the health crisis

Ordinance No. 2020-306 of 25 March 2020 introduced various measures relating to tax deadlines and procedures, applying to both taxpayers and the administration.

The tax authorities have just commented on these measures. These comments are subject to public consultation until 13 April 2020.

  • – The main measure provides for the suspension of time limits which have not expired by 12 March 2020 or which start to run during the period between 12 March 2020 and one month after the date of cessation of the state of public health emergency.

However, the administration confirms that this general measure does not apply to tax return deadlines and that “except in the case of deferral measures taken via instruction to the services (corporate tax services (SIE) and personal tax services (SIP)) and granted at the request of taxpayers (e.g. March direct tax deadlines), taxpayers are required to return and pay their tax debts according to applicable ordinary rules and timetable. »

It specifies that the measure applies to statutory and regulatory time limits but not to those provided for in contractual provisions.

  • – Another measure provides for the suspension of the time limits for resumption of tax administration when the statute of limitations expires on 31 December 2020.

This suspension shall be for a period equal to the period between 12 March 2020 and the expiry of one month from the end of the state of public health emergency.

  • – All time limits provided for the conduct of control and investigation procedures in tax matters, both for taxpayers and the tax administration, are also suspended.
  • – The same suspension shall apply to current time limits at the end of which a decision, agreement or opinion of an administration must be reached or is implicitly acquired.

This concerns in particular the procedures for tax approvals and rescrits. BOI- DJC-COVID19 – Public consultation – Measures taken in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic – Adaptation of administrative and jurisdictional procedure time limits by ordinance.