Research Tax Credit – A disappointing “counter-expertise”

When the tax administration requests a new expertise from the Ministry of Research, nothing prevents that it can be executed by the same experts, even when it is qualified as a “counter-expertise” by the administration.

In this case, the tax authorities had submitted a request for an expertise of the RTC of the company, to the Ministry of Research. The two appointed experts had made a first report, a second, and following the addition of new elements by the company LIM SAS, a last report qualified by the administration as a “report of counter-expertise”.

The company LIM SAS argued that as part of the counter-expertise, the two experts appointed by the Ministry of Research being also those appointed to carry out the first expertise, creating a procedural flaw, since this last expertise could not be conducted independently.

The Court considers that “no provision or principle provides that in the event that the administration requests a new opinion from the Ministry of Research, it must be rendered by agents other than those who are pronounced the first time”.

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Lyon pronounces on this question in the same way as the Administrative Court of Appeal of Paris, which had in a judgment of May 18th, 2018, judged that no legislative or regulatory provision was opposed to that the second expertise requested by the administration at the end of the departmental interlocution, be conducted by the same expert.

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 […]