French R&D tax credit

New administrative guidelines with respect to staff and subcontracting expenses

On December 7th, the French Tax Administration (FTA) released new official guidelines with respect to staff expenses (following a public consultation that took place over the summer), and subcontracting expenses. These new guidelines take into account most of the changes proposed by Deloitte Société d’Avocats during the consultation period.

On staff expenses

Precisions on the notion of Research staff

The administration softens its approach on certain aspects by following recent caselaw on the qualification level of researchers and research technicians by putting forward the notion of acquired experience (without being limited to employees graduated only with a research technician diploma). Interns, trainees and international volunteers are confirmed that they can qualify as research staff.

Furthermore, the Administration also reminds that the secondment of staff can be eligible under certain conditions

Young doctors

As for young doctors, the administration presents detailed modalities applying to the regime with respect to:

The notion of “first recruitment” to be respected to benefit from the regime, eg : after a restructuring operation in a company along with staff transfer, tax benefits relative to young doctors can remain

The choice of the methodology used to evaluate the variation of the research staff is left to the company (the research staff should not decrease for the young doctor benefit to be applied).

Compulsory social contributions

This new administrative guideline indicates that employer’s contribution for life insurance schemes resulting from “conventions or collective agreements” are eligible as well as contribution also resulting from “corporate referendums or unilateral decisions made by the employer”.


The profit sharing becomes eligible only paid to the employees (not when incurred)

On subcontracting expenses

In case a subcontractor asks for the removal of its RTC certification, the Administration indicates that the ordeting party (principal) can take into account in the RTC every eligible expense incurred with this subcontractor, if and only if their contract was signed before the date of removal of the certification of the subcontractor.

The date of signature of the contract compared to the date of the certification removal should serve as criterion.

Thomas Perrin

Thomas Perrin, Partner, specializes in international tax. He has been involved in many transactions for international French and foreign groups. In 2004, he created the R&D department as well as […]

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 […]

Rémi Barnéoud

Rémi has over 20 years of experience in development, project management and strategic advice in the areas of software, electronics, mechanics, and control and monitoring systems. Remi has developed an […]