The new French Code of Taxation on Goods and Services (i.e. CIBS) has now been published in the French Official Journal on December 29th 2021 and will enter into force on 1st January 2022 (Ordonnance n° 2021-1843 du 22 décembre 2021).
This codification relates notably to the taxes which competency is transferred from the French Customs Administration (Direction Générale des Douanes et Droits Indirects-DGDDI) to the French Tax Administration (Direction Générale des Finances Publiques-DGFiP) by 2020 and 2021 Finance Laws.
The collection and regulation of the following taxes are transferred to the French Tax Administration from the 1st January 2022: import VAT (with the compulsory reverse charge mechanism), excises duties on natural gas (TICGN), excise duties on electricity (TICFE), excise duties on coal (TICC), and “boat taxes”.
Why a new Code?
The aim of the reform is to gather different taxes by sector of activity in order to make the regulation clearer for the taxpayers. According to the Government, this recodification shall not change the current regulation nor the public revenues.
However, some dispositions will necessarily change, notably due to the need make the regulation compliant with EU law.
Thus, a detailed analysis of the new texts in the light of the specifics of each operator is highly recommended, both for energy suppliers and energy end consumers.
A regulatory part will also be published (it is currently being drafted) and will complet the Code. However, such addition may take several months or even a year to be published.
In the meantime, the administrative doctine issued by the French Customs Administration remains applicable.
■ The new part of the legislation (Articles L100-1 to L471-58 of the Code) includes the following: (i) excise duties on energy (TICPE, TICFE, TICGN, TICC), alcohol and tobacco; (ii) taxes on transport; and (iii) taxes on national industrial production. In a second phase, the following taxes will be added the Code: VAT, dock dues and other sectoral taxes such as taxes on certain types of polluting activities.
■ The code is structured from the taxpayers point of view and aims to present the different elements of each tax in a logical and harmonised way (e.g. material and geographical scope of application, chargeable event, amount, liability, persons liable for payment, assessment or declaration, payment, penalties and procedures and, where appropriate, allocation of revenue).
■ The rules governing tax litigation are also harmonized. The Administrative Court is now the competent Court for taxes covered by the Customs Code and not the Civil and Criminal Court anymore.
What compliance changes up to January 1st 2022?
With regard to the compliance to energy consumers, we draw your attention to the following:
■ Certificates of tax exemption or reduced rate already provided to energy suppliers will remain valid. The French Tax Administration will provide a new certificate for energy supply contracts concluded from 2022 onwards ("2040-TIC-ATT" form followed by E, G or C depending on the energy tax).This certificate is very similar to the current one. Moreover a dedicated space will be created on the impots.gouv.fr website.
■ For operators having a reduced energy tax regime due to their high energy consumption, the Code provides the concept of "energy intensity" which is assessed based on the operator’s “added value” (as it is today). However, please note that the calculation formula has changed.
■ The Customs Administration will remain in charge of tax refunds for chargeable event incurred before January 2022. The annual declarations (états récapitulatifs) to be submitted in 2022 for the 2021 consumptions should therefore be submitted to the French Customs. However, we are waiting for further details on this matter. For energy taxes due from January 2022, the periodic declarations and the annual declaration will be submitted to the French Tax Administration.
For suppliers liable to the excise duties on energy products, from the 1st January 2022, the declaration will be made using form No. 2040-TIC, common to all energy taxes. The form and the detailed instructions for completing the declaration should be available online on the dedicated website impots.gouv.fr before 7th January.
Please note that the access codes will only be sent by post.