Audits by the agents of the French Ministry of Research: no compulsory open and oral debate with the taxpayer

Every taxpayer is entitled to have an open and oral debate with the tax administration during a tax audit. As for the Research Tax Credit (RTC), the tax administration can ask for a scientific expertise from the French Ministry of Research. During this expertise, the agents from the French Ministry of Research are not required to initiate an open and oral debate with the taxpayer, though they can decide to do so. Caselaw has already confirmed several times this position (especially: December 21th 2000, n°221006, 8th and 3rd ss min, case-law v/S Labesque).

However it is the first time that such matter has been brought before the French Administrative Supreme Court from a constitutional point of view. Unlike a tax audit by the administration, the expertise by the agents of the French Ministry of Research does not trigger penalties, and the administration is not bound by their conclusions. As a consequence the French Administrative Supreme Court concludes that the lack of obligation to initiate an open and oral debate during an audit by an agent of the French Ministry of Research does not infringe on the right of defense and to a fair trial.

Thomas Perrin

Thomas Perrin, Partner, specializes in international tax. He has been involved in many transactions for international French and foreign groups. In 2004, he created the R&D department as well as […]

Lucille Chabanel

Lucille has more than 14 years’ experience in tax law. She is a member of the corporate tax department since 2002 and joined the R&D group in 2004. She has […]

Lionel Draghi

Lionel Draghi, Partner and Engineer, is a member of R&D department. Lionel has more than 15 years’ experience as Software Developer and Product Architect in the Industry sector. He has […]

Laurent Gouzènes

With more than 30 years’ professional experience in innovation and research, Laurent was technical and scientific director of several companies, including 18 years as Plan and Study Programs director within […]

Rémi Barnéoud

Rémi has over 20 years of experience in development, project management and strategic advice in the areas of software, electronics, mechanics, and control and monitoring systems. Remi has developed an […]