The draft Amending Finance Bill for 2021 ("PLFR21") was unveiled on 2 June 2021 and adopted in its 1st reading by the Finance Committee on 8 June. The principal aim of the text is to ensure the financing of the emergency measures requested over and above that which was provided for in the decree of 19 May 2021 where the said measures were set to finish at the end of the summer.
A temporary modification of the tax losses carry-back measure (Article 1-I PLFR 2021)
As a reminder, the mechanism for carrying back tax losses allows the losses recorded at the end of a fiscal year to be deducted from the adjusted profit of the previous fiscal year, up to a limit of €1m. This results in a tax credit that can be offset against the tax due for the following years. If the tax credit has not been used, it can be reimbursed at the end of a 5-year period.
The 3rd Amending Finance Bill for 2020 already allowed for the immediate repayment of unused carry-back tax receivables for fiscal years ending no later than 31 December 2020, within the limit of €1m, and for that of the fiscal year preceding.
In the continuity of this support measure, the 1st article of the PLFR21 provides that companies subject to corporate income tax can carry-back the tax losses recorded for the fiscal year concerned on any profits recorded in respect of the 3 fiscal year preceding.
The terms of this temporary measure
Article 220 quinquies of the French Tax Code (FTC) is to be amended to include and apply the following temporary regime:
- The possibility of deducting the tax losses recorded in respect of the 1st tax loss position fiscal year ended as from 30 June 2020 and until 30 June 2021;
- Possibility to offset these tax losses against the adjusted profits of the previous 3 fiscal years subject to certain exclusions.
- Non-application of the €1m imputation limit;
- Taking into account the corporate tax rate applicable to fiscal years beginning on or after 1 January 2022 (i.e. the standard rate of 25%);
- The possibility of an option until the deadline for filing the income tax return for the fiscal years ending 30 June 2021, and at the latest before the settlement of the tax due for the following year;
- Carry-back tax receivables will be deducted from the tax due in respect of subsequent fiscal years and reimbursed within 5 years of the option. At this stage, it is not possible to obtain an early repayment of these receivables.
A practical example for companies
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