(Article 115 of the 2016 Finance Act)
Article 115 of the 2016 Finance Act draws the consequences of cases n° 2013-684 DC dated 29 December 2013 and n° 2013-362 QPC dated 6 February 2014 of the French constitutional court which ruled unconstitutional certain provisions of the tax on television services (so-called “TST”) to the extent that the basis of the TST included incomes not collected by taxpayers.
In order for the TST to be paid by taxpayers who effectively collect the taxable income, the measure introduced by the 2016 Finance Bill creates a new category of taxpayer.
In this respect, each person who collect income deriving from television services and related activities broadcasted by television services providers will be now liable to the TST as television services providers. By "related activities", the legislator targets catch-up TV, interactive services such as SMS, premium rate calls or telematics services.
By implementing such provisions, the legislator wanted to "restore tax fairness by subjecting these incomes to tax whatever the organization adopted by television services providers for the management of the related services".
These new provisions creating the abovementioned new category of taxpayer shall be notified to the European Commission to determine whether or not they are compliant with EU law as regards State aids. In this respect, it will be implemented under a decree only after the receipt by the French government of the answer of the European commission stating that the new provisions are compliant with EU law, as the case may be.