Advice on the preparation of the Research Tax Credit justification file from the R&D Tax Credit guide (2017 edition released in April)

Every year, the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) publishes an R&D Tax Credit guide for educational purposes. This guide does not have any legal or regulatory value and is not enforceable against the administration. The objective is to help companies in tax credit related procedures whilst outlining the rules of RTC application, securing procedures and related audits, as well as explaining the R&D projects eligibility criteria and detailing the qualifying expenses.

The 2017 edition of the R&D Tax Credit guide, now available on the Ministry’s website, is in line with the precedent version of 2016, the main updates being related to recent administrative guidelines issued by the French Tax authorities on staff expenditures and being the occasion, welcomed, to align the wording of the guide with the wording of the administrative guidelines.

Hereby an overview of some of the new updates:

  • Concerning the remuneration of secondee’s staff, it seems that the Ministry is inclined to maintain the restriction on the integration of secondee’s staff expenses only to the cases of intragroup nonprofit secondment agreements. To be noticed that the French State Council recently admitted the integration of secondee’s staff expenses in the R&D tax credit basis in the case of SARL Intuigo, N°390652, French State Council, January 25th 2017 (see also our blog article on
  • A company undertaking a multi-annual project that benefits from an official eligibility approval, can request the revision of the approval if it decides to modify the project. Such request, according to the minister, can only be addressed to the administration and not to the Regional Research and Technology Delegate (DRRT)
  • The company shall not, under any circumstances, have any direct contact with the expert in order to guarantee his/her impartiality

The stability of the 2017 guide and its continuity with the 2016th edition is very welcomed as it helps companies understand more clearly RTC rules.

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 […]

Lionel Draghi

Lionel Draghi, Partner and Engineer, is a member of R&D department. Lionel has more than 15 years’ experience as Software Developer and Product Architect in the Industry sector. He has […]