The ordinance dated July 8, 2016 relative to the reinforcement of the rights of contributors was published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on July 10, 2016. This ordinance strengthens contributors’ rights, notably by requiring justifications for exchanges between the Urssaf and companies and by codifying the established practices and relevant jurisprudence. However, the public administration has not forgotten to reinforce the rights of the Urssaf as well.
Reinforcement of the rights of contributors
Which practices and relevant jurisprudence have been codified?
- The deadline for posting the notice of inspection has been codified: it has been fixed at 15 days prior to the first inspection by the Urssaf.
- The opposability of the Charter of Inspected Contributors has been recognized.
- The list of documents of the comment letter may be amended.
- Perclusion may no longer be opposed to a contributor having failed to resubmit a case to the Social Security Tribunal (TASS) upon receipt of an explicit decision of rejection from the Urssaf Arbitration Commission (CRA) if he or she has al-ready filed a claim based on an implicit decision.
- The contents of the formal notice and the decision of the Arbitration Commission (CRA) are generally more detailed, in accordance with common practice.
What are the “real” improvements resulting from the ordinance?
- The “right to error”: as of 1 January 2017, the regularization of outstanding contribution payments will perforce be monthly. At each contribution deadline, companies will be obliged to calculate the total remuneration paid since the first day of the year, applying monthly or prorated ceilings in accordance with the applicable rules corresponding to the total annual employment period. Under certain conditions, and provided the company rectifies its error as of the very next deadline, it will not be sub-ject to late payment penalties or increases.
- The justification of exchanges with the Urssaf: the comment letter must henceforth provide justification as must the response of the inspecting officer to the company’s remarks following the comment letter.
- Companies will have 2 months to contest formal notices issued as of 1 January 2017 before the Arbitration Commission (CRA).
Reinforcement of the rights of the Urssaf
- Inspectors will henceforth be authorized to request that the documents to be consulted be presented according to a specific classification.
- The contributor’s consent to the automatic treatment of his or her digital data by the inspector is presupposed.
- Oral communication is the recommended mean of communication when using the sampling and extrapolation method.
Securing the inspection procedure:
- For very small businesses, the on-site inspection triggered upon completion of the documentary inspection is secure, and inspections lasting more than 3 months must yield observations for the future.
- Pursuant to French Supreme Court jurisprudence, the notice of inspection may be delivered only to the company’s head office, even in cases where various establishments are to be inspected.
- The signature of the official undeclared work report will henceforth count as proof of consent to the audition.
- The enforceability of circulars is henceforth better determined: it is limited to the collection of sums that are not definitive, i.e. those for which litigation is pending or legal action remains possible.
Companies may from now on be condemned to pay a fine in the case of an obligation to pay deemed abusive or dilatory.