Studies

Evolution législative – LF 2022 – Décembre 2021

La loi de finances pour 2022 a été adoptée le 30 décembre 2021.

Nous revenons ci-après sur les nouvelles mesures impactant le domaine de l’innovation.

  1. Mise en place d’un crédit d’impôt en faveur de la recherche collaborative (CICO)

Ce dispositif a vocation à pallier la suppression, dans le cadre de la loi de finances 2021, du doublement des dépenses sous-traitées auprès d’organismes publics ainsi que de la majoration de 2 millions du plafond de l’ensemble des dépenses de sous-traitance pour les dépenses confiées à des organismes publics.

  • Les entreprises concernées : les entreprises industrielles, commerciales, artisanales ou agricoles imposables selon le régime réel ou bénéficiant de certaines exonérations.
  • Les organismes de recherche concernés : ils doivent répondre à la définition donnée par la communication de la Commission européenne n° 2014/C 198/01, relative à l’encadrement des aides d’Etat à la recherche, au développement et à l’innovation. Nous ignorons o ce stade si certaines structures seront assimilées publiques, à l’instar du dispositif du CIR.

Ces organismes doivent être agréés par le ministre chargé de la recherche. Ils ne doivent pas entretenir de lien de dépendance avec l’entreprise avec laquelle ils souhaitent collaborer.

La question a été posée au MESRI de savoir si l’agrément sera le même que celui à obtenir pour le Crédit Impôt Recherche, le ministère a indiqué qu’aujourd’hui la procédure n’était pas arrêtée, et qu’elle allait l’être prochainement.

  • Le contrat :

– Il est conclu entre une entreprise et un organisme de recherche ;

– Il est conclu préalablement à l’engagement des travaux de recherche ;

– Il prévoit la facturation des travaux pour leur coût de revient ;

– Il établit un objectif commun, la répartition des travaux, les modalités de partage des risques et des résultats (y compris des droits de propriété intellectuelle, qui ne peuvent être attribués en totalité à l’entreprise) ;

– Le contrat doit prévoir la possibilité pour l’organisme de publier les résultats de leurs propres recherches conduites dans le cadre de la collaboration (critère dont la mise en œuvre mériterait d’être éclaircie)

  • Les dépenses éligibles :
  • Les dépenses facturées par l’organisme de recherche ne peuvent excéder 90% des dépenses totales exposées ;
  • Les travaux sont réalisés au sein de l’UE ou de l’EEE ;
  • Les opérations de recherche sont réalisées directement par l’organisme de recherche, sauf en cas de dérogation prévue par le contrat pour un organisme agréé ;
  • Les dépenses sont retenues dans la base de calcul du crédit d’impôt dans la limite globale de 6 millions d’euros par an.
  • Les aides publiques reçues par les entreprises sont déduites des bases de calcul du crédit d’impôt, qu’elles soient définitivement acquises ou remboursables.
  • Les sommes valorisées au titre du CICO ne peuvent être prises en compte dans la base d’un autre crédit d’impôt ou réduction d’impôt.

Le taux du crédit d’impôt est de 50% pour les micro-entreprises et PME et de 40% pour les autres sociétés. Le bénéfice du crédit d’impôt est conditionné, comme le CIR, au respect du régime cadre exempté relatif aux aides à la recherche, au développement et à l’innovation pour la période 2014-2023 (pris sur la base du règlement (UE) n° 651/2014 de la Commission du 17 juin 2014 déclarant certaines catégories d’aides compatibles avec le marché intérieur en application des articles 107 et 108 du traité).

Ce nouveau dispositif n’est pas concerné par le règlement des minimis.

Le dispositif entrera en vigueur from 1er January 2022.

Source: Article 69

CONCLUSION : Ce nouveau dispositif, s’il vient compenser la fin du doublement des dépenses engagées vers des prestataires publics, n’en n’a pas pour autant un champ d’éligibilité comparable. En effet, ce nouveau crédit d’impôt s’appliquera aux contrats de coopération entre les structures publiques et le contribuable, à l’inverse, les contrats éligibles au Crédit d’Impôt Recherche concernent les contrats de prestation de service effectués pour le compte des contribuables.

Les précisions sur les modalités de calcul seront apportées par une mise à jour de la doctrine administrative.

Il conviendra donc pour chaque prestation d’arbitrer entre les deux dispositifs. Les précisions de Bercy sur le sujet sont donc attendues avec impatience…


Doctrine - Improvement of BOFIP in terms of research tax credit - July 2021

In the expected update of BOFIP of July 13, 2021, the tax administration commented on the adjustments to the CIR and CII made by the last two finance laws, and took into account the latest developments in case law relating in particular to the eligibility criteria. and subcontracting expenses.

Thus, all the main changes are as follows:

I) Evolution on the definition of eligible research and development activities

A) Recognition of the 5 eligibility criteria

Regarding the activities eligible for the CIR, the update of the 2015 Frascati manual is integrated and in particular formalizes the 5 eligibility criteria, already included in the MESRI guide, namely:

  • The first 3 historical criteria which are:
    • Uncertainty,
    • The novelty,
    • Acquiring new knowledge
  • To which are officially added 2 additional criteria, namely:
    • Systematicity in the sense of justification of the R&D approach, of the experimental plan,
    • Transferability / reproducibility in the sense of justification of the perspectives offered other than the current project.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-10-20 n ° 1

B) Definition of a fundamental research activity and an experimental development activity

The tax administration intends to clarify the definition of activities having a fundamental research character. This definition emanates from decree n ° 2021-784 of June 18, 2021 specifying the terms and conditions for issuing the approval of research organizations and scientific or technical experts to which companies can entrust the performance of research operations in application of the da. of II of article 244 quater B of the CGI. Thus, pure fundamental research and oriented fundamental research are both considered as activities eligible for the CIR.

Regarding experimental development, the tax administration has also updated the definition. Thus, this new definition is taken directly from the Frascati Manual and includes among other things that “ Experimental development consists of systematic work - based on knowledge gained from research and practical experience and producing new technical knowledge - aimed at leading to new products or processes or to improving existing products or processes (Frascati Manual , § 2.32) ”.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-10-20 n ° 20 to 30 and n ° 70

II) Distinction between research and development activities and related activities

An important development is emerging, namely the emergence of precision in the process of identifying R&D activities.

In particular, it contains a diagram emanating from the CIR 2020 guide published by the MESRI and illustrating the steps allowing the identification of R&D activities. This diagram makes it possible to highlight the way in which R&D operations can be part of the commercial development of a new product. In particular, it is specified that this diagram does not claim to cover all cases of R&D in companies.

However, the tax administration does not use the explanatory example below which also appears in the CIR 2020 guide.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-10-25 n ° 60

III) Evolution of staff costs

A) On staff made available by another company

If historically, the administration only referred to the strict provision of personnel in its administrative doctrine, it now extends the field of valuation to the expenses relating to temporary workers since they are research personnel directly and exclusively assigned to R&D operations.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-20-20 n ° 60

B) On support staff

The tax administration supports its doctrine regarding the exclusion of the valuation of support staff. Indeed, it considers that the support activities are those which do not fall directly within the scientific and technical tasks of the R&D and which are not carried out by personnel qualified for the R&D.

Thus, it is specified that these include administrative activities (including office tasks and the activities of the central finance and personnel services), management, legal and regulatory, commercial, transport, storage, etc. care and maintenance, safety and quality. These expenses are in fact covered by the lump sum relating to operating expenses.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-20-20 n ° 140

IV) Taking into account of the new rate of operating costs

The tax administration has come to modify the rate of operating costs lowered to 43% the rate applicable for eligible expenditure from 1er January 2020.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-20-25

V) Evolution of outsourced expenses

A) Scope of approvals

As the administration rightly reminds us, a company can take into account in the calculation basis of its research tax credit (CIR) the expenses incurred for the performance of research operations that it has entrusted to public research organizations. or similar listed below.

In this regard, the tax administration recalls that the exemption from the obligation of approval for certain research organizations are only applicable until December 31, 2021. Thus, from January 1, 2022, all research organizations research (public, public or private assimilated) must hold an authorization issued by the minister in charge of research if they wish to be entrusted with research operations for which the related expenses are eligible for the CIR for the principal.

There will therefore no longer be any distinction between public, assimilated and private organizations. All of them will have to be approved so that their principal can value the expenses entrusted to their own CIR.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-20-30 n ° 15

B) Point of attention on eligible expenses

The administration recognizes two types of outsourced expenses.

  1. Expenses corresponding to outsourced research operations (the rule).

Here the expenses corresponding to outsourced research operations refer to expenses considered eligible before FNAMS decision of the Council of State of July 23, 2020, and still in force according to the administration.

First of all, it is recalled, as historically, that “ the expenses incurred must relate to real research and development (R&D) operations, clearly individualized, the realization of which is either completely entrusted to a third-party research organization, or carried out within the framework of a research collaboration with this organization. "

Then the administration schematically makes a distinction between outsourced R&D work (blue and gray path in the diagram) and outsourced work not falling under R&D (pink path in the diagram). Another point of novelty, it presents a vision of the contractual relationship between the principal and the third entity carrying out the work.

The blue and gray paths, which are of particular interest to us in this section, provide details on the contractual research and the research operation carried out within the framework of a collaboration.

Thus, the administration indicates within the framework of a research collaboration that a " a company party to the collaboration may integrate the amounts invoiced by another party to the collaboration into the basis for calculating its CIR, provided that these are eligible expenses, that this financial flow is provided for by the balance of the contract collaboration and that the party issuing the invoice does not include these expenses in its own CIR. It is specified that the invoiced amounts do not include a margin ".

Note that, if the pink path seems to rule out any possibility of valuation at the CIR at the principal, this is mitigated in paragraph 172 by taking into account the FNAMS judgment previously cited. We will detail the scope of this paragraph in the next section.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-20-30 n ° 171

2. Expenditure corresponding to scientific and technical work essential to the performance of eligible research operations carried out internally by the principal (the exception).

Here the expenditure corresponding to essential scientific and technical work refer to expenses considered eligible after FNAMS decision of the Council of State of July 23, 2020. This paragraph intervenes as an exception to the rule, which is that outsourced operations identified as non-R&D (pink path) are not initially eligible within the meaning of the CIR, as defined in paragraph 171.

However, the tax administration finally takes into account the latest case law known as FNAMS.

Thus, the subcontracted expenses are indeed eligible in the CIR of the ordering party when they are necessary for the R&D process of his eligible project, even though the subcontracted operations do not individually correspond to R&D work. .

It should be noted that it is the client's responsibility to justify the essential nature of carrying out eligible research operations that the latter carries out internally.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-20-30 n ° 172

C) Deletion of the administrative doctrine on the deduction of services in the subcontractor's CIR.

The tax administration also takes into account the latest case law of the Council of State of September 9, 2020, known as Takima.

Indeed, the doctrine relating to the valuation of the expenses incurred by an approved subcontractor on behalf of a principal has been deleted, resulting in, in return, the obligation to deduct the invoices issued from its base. This had the consequence of generating a negative balance on the amount of CIR of the approved subcontractor.

Today, the approved subcontractor must not value in its CIR the R&D services entrusted to it by a principal who can benefit from the CIR.

D) Comments related to the 2021 finance law ban on cascading subcontracting.

These comments provide clarification on the prohibition of cascading subcontracting.

Indeed, on the one hand, the administration confirms that the principal cannot take into account the invoices coming from a subcontractor who would subcontract the work himself, except, if the subcontractor of rank two is itself approved or is public (or assimilated).

On the other hand, the tax administration specifies that the principal is entitled to benefit from the share of the expenses incurred by the tier 1 subcontractor, but that he cannot take into account in his own CIR expenditure incurred by a tier 2 subcontractor if the latter is not approved.

This is explained by the following example:

Or company E which entrusts the performance of a research operation to an approved private body A which invoices it for € 1 million in services.

€ 500,000 corresponds to work carried out directly by A.

€ 200,000 corresponds to work subcontracted by A to another approved private research organization.

€ 300,000 corresponds to work subcontracted by A to a non-eligible organization.

Company E will thus be able to take into account in the calculation basis of its CIR an amount of € 700,000 of eligible expenses (= 500,000 + 200,000).

It would seem that the possibility of cascading subcontracting is confined to two levels. Indeed, the tax administration specifies that “if these second-tier service providers themselves call on other organizations to carry out certain scientific or technical work essential to the research operations entrusted to them, the share of the expenses relating to this work, invoiced by the first-class service provider, is not eligible for the tax credit for the principal.

The tax administration recommends that the invoices be included in the invoices so that the principal has visibility of the portion that can be valued at the CIR, namely:

  • The identity and address of the second-tier subcontractor organization called upon,
  • The eligibility of the said organization for the CIR subcontracting system,
  • The share of the invoiced amount corresponding to the work carried out by this organization.

Finally, the DLF provides a welcome clarification on cascading subcontracting, in the event that the tier one subcontractor is not eligible for the CIR (certain audiences, or foreign subcontractor), and that the subcontractor - rank two trader is declaring.

Indeed, this is the only case now where there is a risk of double valuation of the work (A, principal, would value the invoice of B, an ineligible public subcontractor who would in turn subcontract a service. to C, who would declare to him CIR on the work carried out for B, since the latter cannot declare CIR).

In such a case, the administration specifies that the subcontractor C must behave as if his principal were declaring to the CIR, and not to make CIR on the work in question, which will be valued at A.

Concretely, Bercy offers an example summarizing this scenario:

In year N, company A eligible for the CIR entrusts a public research organization B with the performance of a research operation. B invoices A for an amount of € 100,000.

B entrusts part of the research related to this project to an approved private body C. B does not meet the conditions to benefit from the CIR.

C shows in N a total amount of € 140,000 of expenditure eligible for the CIR, broken down as follows:

  • € 50,000 relating to work carried out on behalf of B
  • € 90,000 relating to an R&D project carried out on its own account.

C will declare in the calculation basis of his CIR for year N an amount of € 90,000 in expenditure (= 140,000 - 50,000).

  • A will declare in the calculation basis of its CIR an amount of € 100,000.

The declaration of approved subcontractors should not be simplified by this measure; verifications of the subcontracting context of the latter should indeed give rise to verification.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-20-30 n ° 175 and 177

E) Details of expenditure outsourced to public bodies

The tax administration takes note of the Finance Law for 2021 coming, by its article 132 to end, as from 1er January 2022, to the taking into account of expenses for the double of their amount in the event of subcontracting entrusted to a public body or similar.

However, it is specified that up to December 31, 2021, expenditure entrusted to a public or similar body (rank 1) which entrusts all or part of the service to a public or similar body can be valued for double their amounts. (row 2).

Finally, in a consistent manner, the administration is applying this measure by removing the ceiling of € 2 million dedicated to services entrusted to public research organizations from the 1er January 2022.

This results in the obligation for the declaring company to realize internally at least ¼ of the research expenses valued in its CIR.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-20-30 n ° 180 to 350

VI) On the methods of deducting public subsidies and expenditure incurred for consultancy services

In this part of the administrative doctrine initially reserved for public subsidies, the tax administration has implemented it from the part on the deduction of expenses incurred for consulting services.

Also, the administration takes up in its comments the case law of the CAA of Marseille, of January 17, 2019 which considers that zero innovation rate loans (PTZI) distributed by Bpifrance is assimilated to public funding of research projects. So the same modalities apply to PTZi as the modalities applicable to repayable grants.

Source: BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-30-20

VII) On the status of SME in the Community sense

The tax administration has withdrawn the BOI-RES-BIC-00034 which provided details on the elements of assessment of the quality of SME in the community sense.

The administration is backtracking following a decision by the CAA of Nancy on December 3, 2020 on the quality of SMEs in the community sense. From now on, the buyout by a larger group does not lose the status immediately.

As a reminder, in a decision of 18 December 2012 “Euratom”, the Commission added to the thresholds for the recognition of SME status, the possibility of immediate loss of status when the company qualified as an SME was bought by a larger group.

But as specified in the judgment of December 3, 2014, the Euratom decision has never been taken up by the European Commission in the context of Annex I to Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 of June 17, 2014. and is thus devoid of regulatory value.

It should therefore be noted that only the conditions of non-compliance with the threshold for two consecutive years lead to the loss of the status of SME in the Community sense.


A word from our experts :   Cette modification tant attendue de la doctrine administrative est d’autant plus appréciable qu’elle reprend l’ensemble des évolutions, aménagements et décisions en matière de crédit impôt recherche de ces derniers mois.   En effet, plusieurs précisions étaient attendues (mise en conformité avec la jurisprudence TAKIMA et FNAMS, contours de la sous-traitance en cascade, …), et même si certaines mesures restent à notre sens critiquables (déduction du PTZi, la formulation de la jurisprudence FNAMS n’est pas exactement similaire et peut donner lieu à interprétation), elles ont le mérite de préciser la position de l’administration sur un certain nombre de points.     Ainsi, il est à espérer que l’administration, soit cohérente dans l’application de ces nouveaux commentaires apportés par Bercy.   Il en va de même pour le prochain Guide CIR du MESRI. En effet, malgré son absence d’opposabilité, l’administration a tendance à suivre les préconisations du guide, ce qui peut potentiellement donner lieu à une certaine insécurité juridique pour le contribuable vérifié. Le guide CIR 2020, ainsi que les différents retours d’expertise, ont en effet montré quelques réticences quant à l’application des dernières jurisprudences.  

The impact of the abolition of the CICE on staff costs - December 2019

As the year ended, in the continuity of our last news which dealt with the impact of the amendment relating to the reduction in the flat-rate rates for taking into account operating expenses (targeted reduction from 50% to 43%), we have chosen this month to devote our study to the replacement of the CICE in 2019 by a reduction in employer contributions. Indeed, this replacement had a direct impact on the determination of staff costs.

The CICE represented a tax credit impacting 6% of the remuneration paid, when these did not exceed 2.5 times the amount of the minimum wage. The CICE was the subject of a declaration and a tax credit to be charged directly to the corporation tax or constituted a claim on the State, resulting in a reimbursement (immediate or deferred according to the criteria).

Today, the CICE has been replaced by a reduction in employer health insurance contributions for salaries not exceeding 2.5 times the amount of the minimum wage. These contributions were set at 13%. The reduction resulted in a drop of 6 points, which therefore corresponds to employer health insurance contributions of 7% for the employees concerned.

This reduction therefore has a direct impact on the wages paid by companies benefiting from this reduction each month. Employer health insurance contributions constitute compulsory social contributions (BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-20-20-20181205). The gain represented by the reduction in these contributions has a direct impact on companies declaring research tax credit, because for the salaries paid, the inclusion of this contribution in the CIR will be 7% instead of 13%, for the employees concerned. This means that the rate of employer contributions eligible for the CIR system will represent 36% and no longer 42% (on average).

Taking into account the average proportions of profiles valued in the system, the impact would thus represent an additional reduction of around 3% on the personnel costs declared to the CIR and CII.

Providing businesses with the means to innovate, transform and create jobs is the ambition of the PACTE law promulgated on May 22. 

One of the essential measures of the law is the modification of article 1833 of the civil code, now supplemented by a second paragraph: "The company is managed in its social interest, taking into account the social and environmental issues of its activity ”. If the implications of this reform seem limited for some, the modification of article 1833 of the civil code, supplemented by the modification of article 1835 which now allows companies to specify in their statutes a reason for existence, introduces social responsibility. at the heart of business life.

Society can no longer be satisfied with having as sole objective the realization of profits or savings, it must take into account social and environmental issues. This obligation, conceived as an obligation of means, obliges managers to integrate social and environmental issues into account in each decision-making process. 

The voluntarily broad expression “social and environmental issues” gives a certain latitude to the judges responsible for interpreting the law, it encourages companies to develop a global attention on these subjects.

Social and environmental issues integrated into the decision-making process?

The binding force of the text remains relative, in fact article 1844-10 recalls that social and environmental issues cannot constitute a cause of invalidity of decisions or of the company itself. It also seems unlikely that third parties could engage the liability of the managers. 

Nevertheless, the partners will now be able to more easily question the leaders who are diligent in the face of social and environmental issues. A form of environmental and social activism cannot be ruled out. 

From a legal point of view the company must first satisfy its interests, nevertheless the modification of article 1833 inevitably leads the leaders to integrate the social and environmental implications in the decision-making process. 

It should be noted that companies requesting aid and subsidies must already in many cases justify taking concrete account of social and environmental issues.

The entry of CSR into the Civil Code marks a general movement to take these issues into account. Formerly reserved for listed companies, CSR is now the responsibility of all companies. This notion must eventually become a compass that guides the life of companies.

Source:

https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichCodeArticle.do;jsessionid=92105AD3BE6C2F7281359C9A44A4C636.tplgfr21s_3?idArticle=LEGIARTI000038589926&cidTexte=LEGITEXT000006070721&categorieLien=id&dateTexte=

https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichCodeArticle.do;jsessionid=92105AD3BE6C2F7281359C9A44A4C636.tplgfr21s_3?cidTexte=LEGITEXT000006070721&idArticle=LEGIARTI000038589913&dateTexte=20190821&categorieLien=cid#LEGIARTI000038589913

Context

Presented by the Minister of Justice in the Council of Ministers on May 9, 2018, Ordinance No. 2018-341 was published in the Official Journal on May 10. This text modifies the intellectual property code in order to ensure the compatibility of French legislation with the European texts forming the "patent package": regulations (EU) n ° 1257/2012 and n ° 1260/2012 of December 17, 2012 and agreement on the unified patent jurisdiction of February 19, 2013.

The entry into force of the ordinance relating to the European patent with unitary effect and to the unified patent jurisdiction comes in response to the drawbacks of the current European patent system. Indeed, it should be remembered that the protection granted by a European patent does not have automatic effect in the 38 States parties to the Munich Convention of October 5, 1973. On the other hand, the patent generates significant costs for the patent. patent holders. Finally, in the event of infringement of his rights on the territory of several Member States of the Union, the holder of a European patent is often forced to apply to several national courts.

Objectives pursued

To respond to the drawbacks of the current European patent system, the objective pursued by this ordinance is to strengthen the rights of patent holders by creating a European patent with unitary effect, which confers rights having a uniform scope on the territory of all Member States while guaranteeing them a reduction in costs.

This ordinance also aims to rationalize litigation by creating a unified jurisdiction whose decisions will apply to the territory of all the contracting member states.

Adaptation of the intellectual property code

Law No. 2016-1547 of November 18, 2016 on the modernization of justice in the 21st century empowered the government to adopt by ordinance the provisions necessary to ensure the compatibility of French legislation with the “patent package”.

Pursuant to this law, the ordinance of May 9, 2018 modifies the intellectual property code (articles 2 to 18 of the ordinance) by providing, in particular, for the articulation between the various patents, the exclusive competence of the court. unified patent, the dissemination to third parties by the INPI of information relating to the European patent with unitary effect and the extension of the effects of this patent to overseas territories.

The minutes of the Council of Ministers of May 9, 2018 underlines that after the publication of this ordinance and its implementing decree, “the whole system constitutes a considerable step forward for investment in research and the competitiveness of companies. . "

The legal certainty of patent holders is thus reinforced.

Source: Ordinance n ° 2018-341 of May 9, 2018 relating to the European patent with unitary effect and to the unified patent jurisdiction

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