(Article 66 of the 2015 Amending Finance Act)
In order to address the issue of budget losses recorded by local authorities in the event of a change of business operator in the course of the year, the Parliament created a new tax event of the tax on commercial premises (TASCOM) in the 2015 Amending Finance Act: the discontinuance of business in the course of the year. In view of the implementation of these new provisions, the Parliament has also adapted the application of the threshold of turnover realized by the business operator to determine whether or not he is liable for the TASCOM.
As a reminder, the TASCOM was previously owed by the business operator of the establishment, the tax event of the tax being the existence of such establishment on January 1st of the year for which it is due. Moreover, the tax did not apply to establishments whose net turnover did not exceed €460,000.
French administrative guidelines, drawing the consequences from these provisions, specified that in case of a change of business operator during the year preceding the year for which the tax is due, only the new business operator was subject to the TASCOM, calculated in proportion to the days of exploitation during the year of the transfer of business.
These provisions were considered by the legislator as a "form of exemption" contrary to the principle of equality before tax.
The Parliament therefore chose the discontinuance of business as a new tax event of the TASCOM in order to make liable for tax the business operator transferring or discontinuing his business in proportion to the duration of exploitation in the course of the year of discontinuance or transfer of the exploitation. Indeed, it appears from reading the preparatory work that the Parliament intended to cover both the situations where the business operator purely discontinues his business and where the business operator transfers his business in the course of the year.
Moreover, to determine if the operator discontinuing or transferring his business is actually subject to the TASCOM and calculate if necessary the tax rate and the amount of the tax, the operator will have to divide the turnover realized on the actual duration of exploitation preceding the discontinuance or transfer of the business to a full year of exploitation. In the situation where the net annualized turnover exceeds €460,000, the business operator will have to pay the corresponding amount of tax.
These new provisions apply as from January 1, 2016.