Procedures Guide

The Procedures guide allows entrepreneurs and decision-makers to have a reliable, precise and up to date overview of legal procedures and measures concerning commercial formalities to be undertaken. It is broken down into 6 sections in which you can find information and documentation required for formalities with Registry Offices at the Commercial Courts.

Public Treasury priority status

Almost all taxes are linked to a priority status on the personal property of the debtor. Article 2327 of the Civil Code references its system to the specific laws that it promulgates. Such laws are compiled in the General Tax Code.

According to 1 of Article 1929 4th of the General Tax Code: [the laws] lead to publication of amounts secured by Public Treasury priority status owed by business owners and private law legal entities (including non-commercial entities), as an income tax, atax on profits of companies and other legal entities, a tax on wages, a business tax (and secondary taxes), turnover taxes (and secondary taxes), and indirect contributions.

In the event of payment of the obligation by a third party, such party perhaps subrogated to Treasury rights, such benefits from the same priority status, subject to registration.

Time frame

Registration of a Public Treasury priority status can only be required from the date on which (under the provisions of 3 of Article 1929 4th of the General Tax Code):

- the person liable for tax incurred an increase for default in payment of direct taxes collected by the auditors of the Directorate of Public Accounting;

- a writ of execution was issued for turnover (or equivalent) taxes and indirect contributions, as well as direct (or equivalent) taxes collected by the auditors of the Directorate of Public Accounting.

Mandatory publication

Publication is required when, after a certain prescribed period, amounts due exceed a certain threshold. Otherwise, priority status cannot be contested by third parties.

2008 finance law amendments and two implementing decrees have clarified the new provision applicable to debt established effective 1st July 2008.

The time period, at the expiration of which registration of priority status by the collection authority is mandatory increased from six to nine months (Law No. 2008-1443 of 30 December 2008 for the 2008 finance law amendments, Article 58, modifying the provisions of 4 of Article 1929 4th of the General Tax Code).

Registration of amounts secured by priority status must be required, at the latest, during the month following the expiration of the deadline of nine months (Decree 2009-195 of 18 February 2009, Article 1 modifying Article 396 2nd of the General Tax Code, Annex 2).

The threshold for starting mandatory registration was also modified: it is increased to and set at 15,000 euros (Decree 2009-197 of 18 February 2009, Article 1 modifying Article 416 2nd of the General Tax Code, Annex 3).

An exception to the principle of mandatory registration of priority status in anticipated for businesses in difficulty: "The referenced amounts are not subject to publication (. . .) when the debtor respects a plan of on-going audit of the debt as well as of its current fiscal obligations" (the before-mentioned Law of 30 December 2008, Article 58, modifying the provisions of 4 of Article 1920 4th of the General Tax Code). If the plan is cancelled, the public auditor must proceed with publication within a period of two months. It ends the audit plan by certified letter, return receipt requested. The time limits for registration run from the receipt of such cancellation by the debtor (Decree No. 2009-197 of 18 February 2009, Article 2, creating Article 416 3rd of the General Tax Code, Annex 3).

Competence

If the debtor is registered in the Trade and Companies Register, the registration must be filed with the clerk of the commercial court in the jurisdiction of its principal commercial establishment (for an individual) or headquarters (for a legal entity).

Effects of registration

The registration is effective for four years.

Documents to produce

2 copies of the registration form, including:

  • the date on which it was established;
  • designation of the requesting public auditor;
  • the surname, first names, company name, address of the principal establishment or headquarters of the debtor;
  • amounts owed to the Treasury at the end of 9 months.

Marginal references

When a taxpayer disputes an imposition which was subject to registration, he can request a marginal reference.

The court clerk can only proceed with this dispute reference upon presentation of a certification of dispute issued by the public auditor having taken the registration.

Prices

(Prices with tax)

1st REGISTRATION: 2.34 euros (without postage).

RENEWAL OR SUBROGATION: 3.12 euros (without postage).

DISPUTE REFERENCE: 1.56 euro (without postage).