In the case at hand, pharmaceutical companies (principals) entrusted R&D operations to Hays Pharma (HP), a service company certified by the Ministry of Research. However, the latter did not carry out the work itself and did not claim any RTC at its level.
HP entrusted the research operations to two subsidiaries, Hays Pharma Consulting (HPC) and Hays Pharma Services (HPS), which were not certified, and each included the corresponding expenses in their RTC basis.
The tax authorities challenged the corresponding RTCs. The Court confirmed the administration’s position and judges that “in the event that a company outsources research work to a private research organisation, only the ordering company may benefit from the research tax credit for the sums mentioned in d bis) (sums corresponding to subcontracted work), provided that the private research organisation is approved by the Ministry of Research”.
The solution adopted by the Court, in a very specific case of interposition of the certified company between the principal and the companies actually carrying out the work, is intended to avoid any risk of double financing of the same sums:
- among HP customers (certified entity) subject to the corporate tax in France, with the right to consider them in their own RTC
- among non-certified subcontractors (two companies of the Hays group, HPC and HPS, carrying out the work)