1. With respect to French tax law, the business tax should only be ceiled based on added value (French General Tax Code, Art. 1647 B sexies) if the tax, to which the taxpayer has actually been liable, exceeds 6% or 5% (depending on the tax year) of the added value produced by the entirety of its activities, as defined in paragraph II-2 of the above article (including the part of added value produced by any exempted activity).

These general provisions apply to international transport companies for which the added value must be determined with respect to the totality of their professional activities, whatever their place of exercise, insofar as these companies are liable to this tax, and this even if the rental value of the vehicles, equipment and transport equipment is only taxable in proportion to the part, in their receipts, of those corresponding to operations performed within the limits of the French territory (French General Tax Code, App. II, art. 310 HH 2).

Such a company thus cannot take advantage of the fact that it is performing 98% of its activity outside the national territory to argue, that the ceiling should have been computed only from the added value produced by the sole activities it performs in France.

2. Moreover, regarding the administrative regulations, such a company should not take advantage of paragraph 21 of the instruction dated December 17, 1979, according to which should be excluded, for the computation of the added value, "the part corresponding to activities located outside the field of application of the tax or to exempted activities", as the above regulation "does not give an interpretation of the said activities different from that resulting from the tax law " (CE, 9e and 8e ss., May 10, 1996, req. no.139860 and no.148817, Ste Sagatrans).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be brought about your specific circumstances.

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