Major changes in the administrative doctrine on the RTC and the ITC

One new version of the administrative doctrine on the RTC and ITC was published on 13th July 2021.

In addition to considering recent legislative changes (Finance Laws for 2020 and 2021 concerning the calculation of operating costs, eligible subcontracting, and reporting obligations) here is already a foretaste of the main topics impacted by this redesign, which we will comment on in detail at the beginning of the school year.

Definition of eligible research operations


For the first time since 2012, the administration is revising the definition of eligible research operations. Note an alignment on the Frascati Manual of 2015 and the consideration of questionable positions, set out in the RTC Guide of the Ministry of Research.

Staff costs


On staff costs, note should be made of the possibility of retaining intermediaries among eligible staff and the inclusion of the temporary exceptional contribution (CET) paid to AGIRC in the social contributions eligible for the RTC like two pieces of good news.

Outsourced research expenses


A major overhaul is carried out, including an opening on the eligibility of research expenditure entrusted beyond subcontracting alone (collaboration contracts in particular) and on the eligibility of related tasks (taking into account the FNAMS judgment of the Council of State – read our article for more information on this judgment).

Regarding the application of the anti-cascade mechanism, the tax administration decides against the eligibility of work carried out by a third-order subcontractors.

Public subsidies


The zero innovation rate loans (PTZI) distributed by Bpifrance are considered public subsidies to be deducted from the base of the RTC.

Companies approved by the RTC


Taking into account the recent decisions of the Council of State (Takima) (read our article for more information on this judgment) on the special methods of calculating the RTC for approved companies.

SME status

BOI-BIC-RICI-10-10-50 and BOI-RES-BIC-000034

When a company, at the closing date of the accounts, exceeds the thresholds (ie: (i) employee < 250 people and (ii) annual turnover < EUR 50 million or total annual balance sheet < EUR 43 million) it loses the status of SME only if this overrun occurs for two consecutive financial years. 

This is applicable even when entering a group. Conversely, in the event of group exit, the benefit of the SME status will only be acquired if the company meets the thresholds for 2 consecutive financial years.

Consult the administrative doctrine: