The French High Court (CE, February 16, 1996, no.133789) has considered that the following purchases are deductible expenses and not fixed assets: purchases of books, magazines and newspapers used by a publisher to update the encyclopedia he published each year, as well as to answer the questions raised by the readers relating to the information contained in this work.
The aim of this documentation which is renewed each year is not to be useful on a long term basis to the activity of the company and therefore is not an item of the fixed assets, although it would be kept for more than one year.
1. With this decision, the French High Court censors the contrary solution previously retained by the Administrative Court of Appeal of Paris in the same matter (C.A.A. Paris, May 26, 1992, no. 90-914). The case submitted to the judge was quite particular. But the decision of the High Assembly implicitly ensues from the general principle, according to which the acquisition expenses of professional or technical books, magazines and newspapers are deductible charges when these documents provide an assistance for the information immediately used by the company.
This rule applies to all professional documentation expenses shown by the companies, whatever the nature of their activity, even though some documents are kept for more than one year.
2. It seems that the prior decision of the French High Court according to which, exceptionally, the cost of an item of the fixed assets is constituted by the price paid for the original acquisition of permanent documentation works aimed, contrary to books or magazines, to be periodically updated, should remain a punctual solution (CE, January 13, 1995, no. 100127).
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