A French draft law, relating to the fight against tax fraud and serious economic and financial crime, provides in particular for the provision of the transfer pricing documentation at the same time as the tax return. It has been voted by the National Assembly on June 25, 2013 and will be discussed by the Senate on July 17, 2013; a definitive vote could take place within the following weeks.
Current documentation rules
The current transfer pricing documentation rules (article L. 13 AA of the French Tax Procedure Code) apply to entities with gross assets or a turnover exceeding EUR 400 Million, or with a more than 50% direct or indirect shareholder or subsidiary meeting these thresholds.
They may then be requested to produce the transfer pricing documentation as of the start of the tax audit.
Proposed new regime
The companies would have to provide the transfer pricing documentation together with their tax return.
The draft law doesn’t provide for any change with regard to the scope of the rules or the contents of the documentation.
Equally, penalties should remain unchanged at this stage (5% maximum penalty on reassessed amounts where documentation is deemed not complete).
French companies will have much less time to prepare their transfer pricing documentation, and will have to implement a process to comply with this new annual requirement.
It is moreover likely that the documentation will be taken into account by the FTA to target the companies to be audited.
The details of implementation of the new regime - if voted - remain unknown at this stage, and in particular the covered FYs are not yet defined. This new regime should apply as from FY2013.