Circular of 20 April 2017, concerning the application of late interests in case of late payment of some customs receivables

This article was first published in our monthly newsletter Indirect Tax News. This newsletter sums up the main news in indirect tax and customs.

Since the 2016 Amending Finance Law, late interests should be applied in case of late payment of (i) import duties (article 114 of the Union Customs Code) and (ii) import VAT, “octroi de mer et octroi de mer régional”, General Tax on Polluting Activities (TGAP) and “Taxe Intérieure de Consommation sur les Produits Energétiques” (TICPE – domestic consumption taxes on energy products) (article 440 bis of the French Customs Code). This circular of 20 April 2017 comments these new rules applicable in case of non-respect of a specific date of payment or in case of customs audit.

The late interest rate applicable for late payment of import VAT amount to 0,40% per month (4, 8% per year): it is identical as the one provided by article 1727 of the French tax code. The tax payers are informed of the amount of late interest due throughout an assessment notice.

It should be pointed out that, as mentioned by article 390 ter of the French customs code, the circular confirms that tax payers may ask for a total or partial late interest forgiveness. Of course, this request will have to be duly justified.

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