The French tax litigation procedure is essentially a written procedure.Prior to reaching the stage of proper Court litigation there would normally first have been a dialogue with the French tax authorities.

If this dialogue fails then the taxpayer would have had the option of going to a conciliation commission within certain timescales.

In the event the above steps did not give satisfaction to the taxpayer then the dispute may be taken further by way of a claim made to the tax office which carried out the re-assessment in which a summary of facts and arguments are set out.

The claim must be filed by 31 December of the second year following the year in which the assessment or collection notice was delivered (except for the “cotisation sur la valeur ajoutée des entreprises” (CVAE), the “cotisation foncière des entreprises” (CFE) for which the claim must be filed by 31 December of the first year following the year in which the assessment or collection notice was delivered).

The tax authorities have six months to respond to the claim.

Failure to reply within this time period constitutes an implicit rejection of the claim.

Filing a claim does not exempt the taxpayer from the payment of taxes and penalties imposed.

That being said, the taxpayer may request that payment be deferred.

The deferment request is usually granted in exchange for the provision of a guarantee.

There are no specialised tax Courts in France.

It is either administrative Courts or Civil Courts which are competent to hear tax related disputes.

Administrative courts will hear disputes on direct taxes, such as income tax, corporate income tax, VAT and local taxes.
Civil courts, will hear disputes on registration duties, inheritance and gift tax, wealth tax and certain indirect taxes; as well as criminal tax issues, regardless of the nature of the tax.

Triplet & Associés have bilingual experts who as Avocats can assist at every step of the procedure, even before the Courts, providing expert advice in English and in a manner understandable to those of a non-French culture.

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