Analysis of the CIR 2022 guide - What's new?

This new edition of the traditional CIR Guide published by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) has been published in two editions: a first partial version went online on December 12, 2022, followed by the complete version on January 13, 2023.

A comparison with the CIR 2021 Guide highlights several notable changes or additions:

Do you need clarification on changes in tax credits (CIR, CII, CICo)? Our experts are here to help you. Make an appointment and get the answers to your questions:

CIR: what are the consequences of the end of double taxation and the introduction of the CICo?

The CIR 2022 Guide takes into account the changes inherent in the CIR as of 1 January January 2022, namely repeal of the double tax base for R&D work entrusted to public entities. The sections on eligible subcontracting expenses and the approval procedure have been updated for application in the 2022 vintage.

To compensate for the elimination of the doubling of expenses and the reduction in the ceiling, a new system has been introduced.

What is CICo?

The CICo (research collaboration tax credit)applies to cooperation agreements between approved structures and the taxpayer. Its scope is not comparable to that of the research tax credit. It is not not cumulative with the latter for the same expense.

CICo: what are the eligibility criteria?

CICo is aimed at industrial, commercial and agricultural companies subject to a real tax regime. It is aimed at expenses invoiced by research and knowledge dissemination organizations as part of a collaborative contractbetween 1er January 2022 and December 31, 2025.

The organizations targeted by this scheme are: the public or private organizationsTheir primary objective is to independently carry out fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development, or to widely disseminate the results of these activities. They must be approved by MESRI in accordance with procedures to be defined by decree.

To be valid, a collaboration contract must therefore meet several cumulative conditions:

  • To be concluded prior to the start of the research work;
  • Provide for research expenses to be invoiced at cost;
  • Fix the common objective pursued, the division of research work between the company and the organization, and the terms and conditions for sharing risks and results, it being specified that the results, including intellectual property rights, may not be attributed in their entirety to the company;
  • Provide that invoiced expenditure may not exceed 90% of the total expenditure incurred in carrying out the operations provided for in the contract;
  • Give research organizations the right to publish the results of their own collaborative research.

CICO: what are the benefits?

This new tax credit gives entitlement to 40% of expenses invoiced by eligible organizations up to a limit of 6 million euros, and 50% for SMEs. However, any public assistance received by companies for operations qualifying for the tax credit, whether definitively acquired or repayable, must be deducted.

A new annex has been added to present this new tax credit scheme for collaborative research. It simply reproduces the current texts, without commentary or case studies. An update of the administrative doctrine (BoFIP base) is expected on CICo.

CIR and project eligibility perimeter

In its description of the various steps taken by a company to develop a new product, the CIR 2022 Guide lists the activities eligible for the CIRThis is the case when a scientific barrier has been clearly identified, which can only be resolved by an R&D operation:

  • Defining the hypotheses to be tested and the scientific approach to be followed;
  • R&D work;
  • Analysis of results ;
  • Enhancing and, where appropriate, communicating these results.

This last activity has been added to the CIR 2021 Guide and recognizes that this step of publication of results is an integral part of R&D work.

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CIR and tax rescript: what's new?

What is a tax rescript?

A tax ruling is a response from the tax authorities concerning the assessment of a factual situation in relation to a tax law. The "research tax credit" rescrit, governed by articles L 80 B-3° and 3-bis of the LPF, is a specific tax rescript procedure by which a natural or legal person asks the administration whether its research expenditure project is eligible to benefit from the provisions of article 244 quater B of the CGI.

CIR tax ruling: what are the deadlines?

The administration has a three-month deadline for decision on the eligibility for the CIR of expenditure relating to their R&D project. In the event of an incomplete rescript application, the Administration may request additional information.

Such a request for further information interrupts the 3-month period within which the Administration must reply to the taxpayer (failing which the rescript is accepted, a rule specific to CIR rescripts), which starts running again for three months from receipt of the requested supplements (in line with article R*80 B-6-2 of the LPF).

CIR tax ruling: what to do in the event of an unfavorable ruling?

The guide specifies that in the event of an unfavorable opinion on a rescript, the taxpayer can request a second examination (on the basis of documents already submitted), or provide new information as part of a new application. In the latter case, you will need to consider the deadline for submitting the rescript request, which should always be submitted before the tax credit declaration.

CIR: a simplified procedure for individual expert applications

CIR approval: an essential criterion

Thesubcontractor approval is essential so that the client can claim the research and development (R&D) or innovation work outsourced to this third party. Expenditure subcontracted to organizations or individual experts that do not benefit from approval are excluded from the CIR base. The procedures for MESRI approval are set out in article 49 septies H of Annex III to the CGI, by Decree 2021-784 of 18/06/20211 and its joint order.

Approval ensures sufficient R&D potential to be a service provider on behalf of third parties. It is issued for a fixed term, following scientific and technical appraisal of a dossier presenting a single technical project.

CIR approval: how to obtain it?

To be approved, the service provider must meet the following conditions following conditions :

  • The private research organization or the individual scientific or technical expert has carried it out, under his or her scientific responsibility and with his or her own resources;
  • Present recent scientific and technical research operations;
  • A project for which he defined the scientific approach and carried out the work himself.

To apply for CIR approval, individual experts must complete Cerfa 10199*10 and provide some supporting documentsincluding, in some cases, an R&D operation.

CIR 2022 guide offers a simplified procedure with the content of the dossier adapted to the applicant's degree and recent publications. Applicants will not be asked to describe a research project if they have held a doctorate for less than 4 years, or if they have published a scientific article for less than 10 years in a peer-reviewed journal.

The following table will help you quickly identify the documents you need to provide, depending on your status (source: Guide CIR 2022)

Diploma held by applicant

Situation with regard to research indicators

Documents to be supplied

PhD holder

Doctorate less than 4 years old

  • Short CV (max 2 pages) 
  • Copy of doctorate diploma

At least one scientific publication in a peer-reviewed journal less than 10 years old

  • Short CV (max 2 pages including a list of publications ≤ 10 years old)
  • Copy of doctorate diploma or HDR

No scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals in the last 10 years

  • Short CV (max 2 pages including a list of publications)
  • Copy of doctorate diploma or HDR
  • Recent search operation

No doctorate

At least one scientific publication in a peer-reviewed journal less than 10 years old

  • "Titles and works" (max 10 pages including a list of publications, one of which ≤10 years old)
  • Copy of highest diploma

No scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals in the last 10 years

  • "Titles and works (max 10 pages)
  • Copy of highest diploma
  • Recent search operation

Human and animal health: what's new for the RTC and clinical trials

Attention pharma and veterinary companies: significant changes have been made to the CIR 2022 Guide. Discover them in dedicated article written by our experts.

Note from the experts

Every year, MESRI publishes its Guide to the Research Tax Credit (CIR).

The clarifications and explanations provided in the Research Tax Credit guide are based essentially on current legislation, tax administration doctrine and case law, and have no legal or regulatory value. They are not intended to replace the relevant laws, regulations or tax instructions.

This guide is therefore not enforceable against the tax authorities, nor can the latter rely on it. In practice, however, we note that the positions taken by MESRI in this guide are very often followed by the tax authorities.

Article written by

Amandine LIGNIER

Manager Innovation Financing Consulting

François-Xavier PIC

Tax Manager


Tax specialist


Tax specialist

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