(Article 86 of the 2016 Finance Act)

Article 86 of the 2016 Finance Act replaces the general requirement to provide the audited taxpayer with a charter (that summarizes its rights during the tax audit) with a mention on the audit notice sent to the taxpayer that that charter can be consulted on the tax administration website or delivered in paper format following a simple request.

It should be recalled that the lawmaker instituted in 1988[1] a requirement to hand over a charter which summarizes in a few pages the principal rules of the procedure to be applied as regards tax audit in order to improve the relationship between the FTA and the audited taxpayer. This charter was attached in paper format to audit notices. The mention of its delivery was also mentioned in the margin of the notice signed by the taxpayer in case of unexpected audit or delivery of the notice to the taxpayer in person.

According to the Parliament preparatory work, the FTA carries out every year on average almost 52,000 tax audits. By adopting this dematerialization measure of the audited taxpayer's charter of rights and obligations, the Government wished to reduce the printing and stamping costs caused by the charter delivery.

From now on, each tax audit notice addressed or delivered from January 1st, 2016 must inform the taxpayer that the audited taxpayer's charter of rights and obligations can be consulted on the tax administration website or be delivered following a simple request.

However, the requirement of providing the taxpayer with the charter on paper format with the tax audit notice remains in case of unexpected audit of the FTA because the taxpayer must be able to consult it immediately.

This measure is a part of a movement of modernization and rationalization of the FTA's action. According to the lawmaker, the taxpayer's guarantees remain unaltered, the last paragraph of Section L.10 of the French tax procedure code staking that the rules present in the charter are opposable to the FTA.