If a company wishes to rectify a tax assessment or calculation error, it has until December 31, 2022 to file a claim with the tax authorities. This step precedes a possible referral to the courts.
When should I file a tax claim?
A tax claim can be made to obtain a discharge (the dispute concerns the entire tax) or a reduction (the dispute concerns part of the tax) for taxes collected by roll, such as the cotisation foncière des entreprises (CFE).
For taxes paid spontaneously, i.e. those for which the tax authorities do not issue a tax notice, the tax claim aims to obtain a total or partial refund. These include VAT, corporation tax, registration fees and withholding taxes.
How do I file a claim?
Depending on the taxpayer's situation, he or she should contact the company's tax department (SIE), the Direction des Grandes Entreprises or the center des impôts fonciers. The claim must be dated, identify the claimant and mention the disputed tax. It must be accompanied by the tax notice in question and bear the handwritten signature of the user or his representative.
Please note that only private individuals can file a claim directly on the impots.gouv.fr website. Companies can submit their claims by post, on plain paper or by e-mail. Although there is no legal obligation to do so, it is recommended that you send your claim by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, in order to prove the date of dispatch and that the deadline has been met.
Companies making a claim remain liable for payment of the disputed tax. They may, however, submit a request for deferment of payment with their claim. Guarantees (mortgage, pledge of business assets, surety, etc.) may then be requested if the amount of tax due exceeds 4,500 euros. If the claim is rejected, it is important to note that late payment interest and penalties apply. Any dispute must therefore be carefully considered.
To be taken into account, the tax claim must be sent to the tax office of the company's place of taxation no later than December 31 of the 2nd year following payment of the disputed tax or assessment. The period for lodging a claim for local taxes is shorter, at 1 year.
Once the deadline has passed, the action is time-barred for certain taxes. Companies should therefore check that they have no claims to make before the end of the year. In practice, they have until December 31, 2022 to contest taxes for 2020 (VAT, income tax, etc.) and local taxes for 2021.