(Paris Administrative Court of Appeal, Nov. 7, 2013, no. 12PA01442, and Jan. 23, 2014, no. 12PA03786)

In two recent decisions of the Paris Administrative Court of Appeal (November 7, 2013, no. 12PA01442, Falguière Conseil, and January 23, 2014, 12PA03786), the Court reaffirmed that the fact that certain staff members do not have a degree or scientific qualifications is not an obstacle to taking their compensation into account for determining the CIR.

It should be remembered that Article 49 septies G provides that research staff includes technicians as staff members working in close collaboration with researchers to provide the technical support necessary for research and experimental development. Administrative doctrine (BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-10-30 no. 60, September 12, 2012) states that support staff is expressly excluded from the CIR’s scope.

However, unlike the conclusions of the government’s commissioner, the Lyons Administrative Court has already ruled that persons who work in close collaboration with the company’s researchers could be taken into account in the CIR, regardless of whether these employees, who are assigned to mere performance tasks, could be recognized as being research technicians (decision of June 1, 2008, no. 02-1282, SA Agintis).

The Paris Administrative Court of Appeal has just reaffirmed this position: the first decision involved employees with sales representative duties who had provided assistance in the development of software to estimate the market value of real estate, based on a mathematical model; the second decision involved employees who had master’s degrees and in-depth knowledge of auditing and management control and who had contributed to the development and improvement of algorithms for controlling accounting and financial information.

The first decision is all the more interesting because the report by the Ministry of Research’s expert had stated that the involvement of the sales representative employees to test the validity of the results did not raise any scientific or technical issues and, therefore, could not be deemed research and development operations that are eligible for the CIR.

With the upcoming date for CIR declarations for the 2013 calendar year, particular attention should be paid to this type of staff so as to ascertain their role in operations that are eligible for the CIR.