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Independent Financial Adviser est. 1988
French and Spanish Mortgage Brokers
French Tax Planning Specialists

Successful Recovery of Prelevement Sociaux Charges ,which were paid to the French Tax Office between 2016 and 2018

Friday, 25 October, 2019



Regular visitors to our website and subscribers to our Bulletins will be aware that this time last year we launched a second wave of tax office appeals for clients who paid Prélèvements Sociaux during 2016 to 2018 on capital gains, rental or investment income.

Previously, because of a change in legislation effective 01/01/2016, these payments were not recoverable by reference to the “De Ruyter” judgement of 2015 which enabled recovery for the period 2012-2015.

The basis of our appeal was a Nancy Court of Appeal (CAA) decision made in May 2018 which concluded that, despite the 2016 legislative changes, all bar 1.45% of the 15.5% Prélèvements Sociaux levy continued to fall within the definition of social security payments and therefore within scope of the same EU legislation which gave rise to the De Ruyter outcome.

The CAA also referred the 1.45% component to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for clarification on whether or not this was alsoi covered by European social security law.

The French tax office immediately appealed the CAA judgement to the relevant French Supreme Court, (the Conseil d’Etat).

That was the state of affairs at the end of last year and, because of time limits for appealing 2016 Prélèvements Sociaux payments expiring at the end of 2018, we made a series of appeals based solely on the CAA judgement in order to keep the cases alive.

In March this year, in a judgement which further undermined the French tax office’s position, the CJEU concluded that the 1.45% component did indeed fall with scope.

Then, during the summer, the Conseil d’Etat provided the Coup de Grace, putting the French tax office out of its misery by finding in favour of the taxpayer for the full 15.5% Prélèvements Sociaux charge.

In the past couple of weeks we have now started to see our 2018 appeals bear fruit, with letters of formal acceptance of the claims being received by our clients. Payments, together with interest will start being made in the next few days.

What to do now about payments made in 2016-2018?

The chance to claim against payments made in 2016 is now passed but the opportunity to claim for payments made in 2017 and 2018 remains open.

For those who paid in 2017 the window is fast closing however – your deadline is 31/12/2019 – less than 3 months from the date of this bulletin.   The  choice is yours , use the right to claim it or lose it!
Meanwhile, for those having made payments in 2018, the expiry date is 31/12/2020 but the earlier the appeal is made, the earlier the rebate will be received.

Preparing and Making your Appeal - How Charles Hamer Can Help

Charles Hamer with both French and English mother tongue speakers in the team has over 25 years practical experience in French tax office liaison and tax appeals. In the case of the 2012-2015 Prélèvements Sociaux appeals we were 100% successful. We are therefore well placed to prepare the basis of your appeal and oversee it to its conclusion.

With this in mind we have designed a questionnaire alongside a document checklist to complete and supply in order to make a well presented appeal in time.

OUR FEES (At the time of print)F

- To assess whether or not we believe you potentially qualify for a rebate under CAA Nancy and to estimate the amount of this rebate, we do not levy any charge but require to be provided with the documentation to run the analysis.

- To prepare and submit the appeal we have a non recoverable fixed administration fee of £300 (inc. TVA). This is payable at the same time as you provide instructions to us.
- Once the appeal is successful, we will levy a success fee of 12% of the amount recovered subject to a minimum of £180 (inc. TVA) and a maximum of £4,200 (inc. TVA).


In the event that the appeal successfully recovers Prélèvements Sociaux and interest, what will it cost you ?
If the appeal successfully recovers £1,200, our fee would be: 
£300 + £180 (£1,200 x 12% = £144 which is less than £180) = Total £480

If the appeal successfully recovers £20,000, our fee would be:
£300 + £2,400 (£20,000 x 12% = £2,400) = Total £2,700
If the appeal successfully recovers £40,000, our fee would be:
£300 + £4,200 (£40,000 x 12% = £4,800 which is greater than £4,200) = Total £4,500


For details of our current up to date charges and to find out whether or not you potentially qualify for a rebate under CAA Nancy, to receive our questionnaire, documents checklist and fee agreement, please contact Emilie Mengin at our Frenchinfo@charleshamer.co.uk 
Tel: 00 33 231 97 80 72./ 01844 218956