Author Archives: Edouard Figerou

Actualités Janvier 2017

L’article 2113-5 du Code général des collectivités territoriales prévoit que la fusion de communes est prononcée par un arrêté préfectoral de fusion publié. Cet arrêté créant la commune nouvelle n’emporte pas transfert de droit automatique de propriété, parcelle par parcelle, sans publicité au service de publicité foncière compétent.

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The amendment repealing the flat-rate income tax on some non-residents

The amendment repealing the flat-rate income tax on some non-residents

(Articles 164 C & 197 A of the French Tax Code)

 The Amending Finance Law 2015 repeals provisions regarding the flat-rate taxation of some residents of third countries who own one or more residential properties.

This is to reflect decisions from both the Court of Justice of the European Union and the French Conseil d’Etat and shall take effect for the taxation of income of the year 2015.

 _____

 A reminder

Taxpayers domiciled outside France are, in principle, taxed solely on their French source income.

However Article 164 C of the French General Tax Code provided that people who did not have their tax domicile in France but who had in France one or more residential properties, in any capacity whatsoever, directly or under cover of third parties, were subject to income tax on a base equal to three times the actual rental value of this or these properties unless the French source income of the concerned parties was higher than said base, in which case the amount of such income would be the basis for taxation.

This measure included several exceptions that significantly reduced its scope.

In deed said provisions did not apply to:

  • French nationals who could prove they underwent in the country where they had their tax residency a personal tax on all of their income and if said tax was at least equal to two thirds of the one they would have had to undergone in France on the same tax base;
  • French nationals whose expatriation was justified by professional requirements and whose tax domicile was located in France continuously for four years prior to their transfer.
  • Taxpayers domiciled in countries or territories having concluded with France a tax convention to avoid double taxation with respect to taxes on income.

_______________________

Recent court rulings

Drawing on the consequences of decisions from both the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the French Conseil d’Etat, Article 21 of the Amending Finance Law 2015 repeals the provisions of articles 164 C and 197 A b of the French General Tax Code.

  • Preliminary ruling Welte of the CJEU dated October 17th, 2013 2013 (Case C-181/12 Welte of October 17, 2013)

It stems from said ruling that patrimonial property investments, made for private purposes i.e unrelated to economic activity, do not constitute direct investment within the meaning of Article 57 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC).

The opinion of the Advocate General MENGOZZI delivered on June 12th, 2013 regarding said case shed light on the interpretation of Article 57(1) EC, and its applicability.

“41.       As I have already pointed out, Article 57(1) EC enables Member States to maintain, vis-à-vis third countries, restrictions existing on 31 December 1993 on the movement of capital involving ‘direct investment – including in real estate’.”

The question whether the French rules above mentioned fell within the temporal and material scope of the standstill clause was less straightforward.

The ratione temporis condition laid down in Article 57(1) EC was met by Article 164 C of the French General Tax Code, and therefore we will not go into further detail in the present article.

However as regards the material scope of Article 57(1) EC, it should be noted that there were legitimate doubts as to whether capital movements in the form of investments in real estate unrelated to economic activity, regulated by the tax legislation of a Member State entailed ‘direct investment – including in real estate’ for the purposes of Article 57(1) EC.

“50.     As I have mentioned, in the absence of a definition of ‘capital movement’, the Court has, so far, consistently relied on the definitions contained in the nomenclature in Annex I to Directive 88/361 and the associated explanatory notes in order to interpret both Article 56 EC and Article 57 EC. (30) …”

“…”

“54.     According to the nomenclature, investments in real estate covered by category II, which are defined in the explanatory notes as ‘[p]urchases of buildings and land and the construction of buildings by private persons for gain or personal use’, are investments ‘not included in category I’, that is to say, not direct investments.”

“55.     Thus, the reference in Article 57(1) EC to ‘direct investment – including in real estate’ (33) should be construed as covering investments in real estate which constitute direct investments, that is to say – to paraphrase the explanatory notes – investments in real estate of such a kind as to establish or to maintain direct links with an entrepreneur or an undertaking in order to engage in an economic activity.”

“56.     By contrast, investments in real estate of a financial nature, which are unconnected with the pursuit of an economic activity, do not fall within the scope of Article 57(1) EC.”

  • Two judgments of the State Council of 26 December 2013 (No. 360488 and 332885)

Based on the conclusions of the ruling Welte, the French Conseil d’Etat in two successive decisions concluded that the flat-taxation of non-residents under article 164 C of the General Tax Code was contrary to the principle of free movement of capital in Article 56 TEC.

Article 164 C aimed to « submit detention in France of residential property to a tax payable by persons not having their tax domicile in France,». The court considered « that such a measure is likely to discourage non-residents to acquire or hold such property ».

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The Amending Finance Law 2015

Article 21 of the Amending Finance Law 2015 (Law n°2015-1786 dated December 29th, 2015) abolishes the flat-rate taxation of certain non-residents owning one or more residential properties in France by repealing the provisions of Article 164 C of the French General Tax Code, a long side the provisions of Article 197 A b of said code.

Previously during the session en hémicycle on December 1st, 2015 Valerie Rabault, ‘rapporteure générale de la commission des finances, de l’économie générale et du contrôle budgétaire’ declared that: « Our Committee had already issued a favorable opinion on this amendment, but in addition, the services of the Ministry of Finance – whom I thank – indicate that this provision would concern 114 persons for a tax revenue of 86 000 euros. I think that the State can afford to do without said sum!

Said measure applies from the taxation of income of 2015.

Lucy OVERFIELD & Edouard FIGEROU

Droit public : lettre aux collectivités – Octobre 2015

La réforme du droit de préemption par la loi ALUR

 

Avec la loi ALUR, la préemption a fait l’objet d’une réforme d’ampleur. Alors que le gouvernement n’avait, à l’origine, pas l’intention de toucher au droit de préemption, le texte finalement voté modifie substantiellement le champ d’application de ce droit comme les modalités de sa mise en oeuvre.

 

Champ d’application
S’agissant du champ d’application, les principales évolutions tiennent à la possibilité désormais offerte aux collectivités publiques de préempter lors de donations entre vifs (C . urb., art. L. 213-1-1).
Pour que la préemption soit possible, il faut toutefois que le transfert de propriété ne soit pas
opéré au profit d’ascendants et descendants, collatéraux jusqu’au sixième degré, époux ou partenaires d’un Pacs ou encore entre une personne et les descendants de son conjoint ou de son partenaire de Pacs, ou entre ces descendants.

 

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Adopting your stepchild

French legislation knows two different kinds of adoptions:

  • One where the blood parent is deprived of any right on his child, where all links between the child and his biological family end;
  • One where, in the contrary, the child meets two families: his biological one and his adoptive one.
    Both have rights on the child, custody and authority to help him/her grow up and become adult.

The latter adoption is often used for step children, or where one child was raised in the absence of his biological parent (car or plane accident, disease…) by uncles and aunt for instance.
When stepparents are taking full day-to-day responsibility for stepchildren they may want to make their relationship with these children more formal and this is where the adoption comes.

 

English Law knows only one kind of adoption. We call it under French Law : ‘full adoption’ !

Several conditions must be fulfilled in the UK – Adoption and Children Act 2002:

The Child must :

  1. be under the age of 18 when the adoption application is made
  2. not be (or have never been) married or in a civil partnership

Both birth parents normally have to consent to the adoption, unless:

  1. they can’t be found
  2. they’re incapable of giving consent, eg due to a mental disability
  3. the child would be put at risk if he/she wasn’t adopted

The adoption assessment in England is very similar to that in France:

An assessment is used to help a court decide if you can adopt the child (rather than being sent to an independent adoption panel).

The court will ask your local council to provide a report on your partner, the child and the other birth parent.

If granted, the adoption court order gives you parental responsibility for the child – along with your spouse or partner.

 

International conflict of law:

Pursuant to UK law, one must follow the adoption laws of the country of residency of the adopter.

You must follow UK adoption law if you’re normally resident in the UK.

You may have to give a sworn statement in front of a solicitor that you’re no longer habitually resident in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands if the country asks for a ‘no objection’ letter from the UK government.

You must send this statement either to the Intercountry Adoption Team at the Department of Education or the nearest British embassy.

Also, the guidance for adoption provided by the British government is clearly recognized by the convention on adoption made under the Hague convention of 29 May 1993. The UK implemented that convention on 1 June 2003.

 

How can somebody adopt a stepchild? Is a British citizen entitled to adoption in France? What are the limits?

Article 370-3 of the French Civil code foresees whichever the law is applicable that adoption requires the consent of the legal representative of the child. Consent must be free, without consideration and with full understanding of its consequences.

This rule is inspired from the historic case of PISTRE in January 1990 and from article 4 of the International Hague Convention on adoption.

French Law also provides that the conditions of adoption are normally subject to the National Law of the adopter or, in case of adoption by spouses, with regard of the law governing the effects of their union.

The adoption cannot be pronounced if the national law of one of the spouses bans it.

Legally speaking the “adoption simple” is not forbidden in the UK but unknown! Does that mean a British resident in France can adopt “simply” his/ her stepchild? Would that be recognized and would that have any effect in France?

If the adopted child is under 18, the French jurisdiction would certainly accept to pronounce the adoption whereas if the child is over 18, the French jurisdiction would certainly refuse it because of the rules applicable in the UK.

When the adoption is ordered it will have full effect in France and of course and in the UK because of the implementation of the Hague convention in UK Law as evoked here above.

Be careful with Adult adoption which is permitted in France contrary to England. Although you have legally adopted a child abroad according to the rules of the state of your residency, England might not consider that adoption as valid.

 

What are the regular effects of an adoption order?

a) Legally speaking

The Court order of adoption takes away parental responsibility from:

  • the child’s other birth parent
  • anyone else who has parental responsibility for the child

b) From a tax point of view:

Transmissions that occur between adoptive parents and the adopted person are subject to normal taxation in the direct line for succession rules, (progressive rate after application of a personal allowance of € 100.000,00).

 

What are the effects of a ‘simple adoption’ order?

a) Legally speaking

The Court order of adoption does not take away parental responsibility from the child’s other birth parent but can multiply the number of guardians in the best interest of the child.

Simple adoption creates a maintenance obligation between adopter and adoptee and vice versa.

The biological parents of the adopted child are not bound by this obligation unless the adoptee proves that he cannot obtain relief of his adoptive parents.

The obligation of the adopted child to his biological parents ceases if he was admitted as a ward of the state and supported by welfare.

 

b) from a tax point of view:

Transfer of assets that occur between adoptive parents and adopted follow are levied at the prescribed tariff for the link natural kinship between them or, where applicable, the tariff for transmissions between non-relatives.

Article 786 of the French CGI provides for a number of exceptions to this principle, so that transmissions thus referred to are taxed according to the tax regime applicable to lineal transmissions.

It is especially the case when somebody adopt his/her stepchild where stamp duties are the same as the ones applicable in the direct line.

 

Examples :

Mr Smith, British Citizen, is residing in Dordogne (France) where he married Hilary in 2007 who is the widow of a UK soldier. Hilary had one child from her previous marriage named Winston.

Mr. Smith is willing to adopt his stepchild who agrees with that. Is that adoption possible?

According with article 370-3 of the French civil code, the adoption is subject to the British rules (National law of the adopter).

We know that UK law prohibits adoption between adults and only knows ‘full adoption’.

That should imply whether Mr Smith is still willing to continue the adoption process that he will have to adopt his stepchild before he turns18 and in ‘full adoption’ (with the consequence of wiping out his stepchild natural/ biological kinship).

When a stepparent adopts their partner’s child it ends the legal relationship between that child and their other natural parent and that wider family network (grandparents and other relatives).

Sometimes that makes the child feel that they have to choose between different adults and later may blame you or your partner.

The child is losing all maintenance and inheritance rights too.

It is likely the French court would accept a ‘simple adoption’ (see case 1 infra) yet the British court does not know that type of adoption for the reason seen aboved.

Le nouveau cadre d’exercice en SEL et SPFPL des pharmacies d’officines

Suite à la validation, en séance publique du 27 février 2015, du décret du 7 juin 2013 qui avait défini le nouveau cadre d’exercice en SEL et SPFPL des pharmacies d’officines, veuillez trouver ci-joint la décision du Conseil d’État.

Consultez la décision du Conseil d’État du 27 février 2015 n°369949 (decision-du-conseil-d-etat-du-27-fevrier-2015-n-369949)

Buying and selling a vineyard in France

The particularities of purchases in the wine sector are not well known, especially to foreign investors.

Let’s take a quick insight into this sector that is so sought-after, especially after some substantial changes were made by the last agricultural law.

The last three years have been rich with viticultural purchases… Château Beychevelle, Château Lascombes, Château Haut Redon and many others.

Even though dealings are numerous, caution must be applied.
The French legal system is highly protective with its agriculture and seeks to preserve the quality of the soil by maintaining a minimum size to each farm and by giving priority to qualified farmers.

Some transactions can be complex, and this may be down to several reasons, for example:
– The legal and commercial organization of the domain (one or more companies holding ownership of the property, when another may manage & run the farm);
– The purchase scheme envisaged: whether it be a purchase of shares (« share deal ») or a purchase of certain viticultural assets (« asset deal »);
– The person/profile of the purchaser (farmer or investor, French or foreign).
etc.

These transfers are not only subject to a control of the French land agencies, named SAFER’s (« Sociétés d’aménagement foncier et d’établissement rural » = Land Improvement and Rural Settlements Companies), i.e agricultural bodies that have a right of first refusal of most rural properties that come onto the market; but are also subject to national regulations that monitor farming structures (« le contrôle des structures des exploitations agricoles »).

All of these factors reflect the specific nature of transactions in this field.

The latest agricultural law of October 14th, 2014 made quite a few changes that will affect vineyard sales.

Throughout this article we will attempt to raise both future purchaser’s and vendor’s awareness on how to structure their transactions.
First of all we will take a look at asset deals, before talking about share deals, and finally we will take a look at the specific reconveyancing system (« retrocession ») involving the SAFER.

Asset deals in the wine sector

 
As part of an asset deal the investor or farmer acquires immovable and movable assets assigned to the wine-farm (cultivated plots, replanting rights, bare land, built property, intellectual property rights, necessary equipment to run the farm, etc.)
The running of the vineyard will be continued under a different legal entity. The buyer will need to create a new legal entity or use an existing one for completing the transaction and all further operations.

The major advantage of this scheme for the buyer is that he/she is exposed to smaller risks as possibilities of adverse effects arising are minimized since within the asset deal, apart from the assets, only certain liabilities are taken over.
The purchaser is protected against any liability that would be transferred together with the assets, contracts and employees of the farm.
Memo: Currently the courts consider on the basis of Article L.1224-1 of the Labour Code that the employees assigned to the farm are transferred to the new owner when he/she purchases an « autonomous economic entity whose identity and activity is maintained or resumed ».

In the case of an agricultural fund (« fonds agricole »), which has a civil character by nature, the legal and tax-related rules applied to business (i.e commercial) sales (eg registration rights and the right of opposition of creditors of the seller) are not applied by principal. However they may be used if the purchased farm also has a commercial activity, such as a trade of wine products not issued from the wine-farm.

 

  •  The requirement to obtain a farming licence

Article L.331-2 of the Rural Code, amended by the last agricultural law of October 13, 2014 specifies in which cases vineyard purchases are subject to obtaining a farming permit. In France this is called an « autorisation d’exploiter au titre du contrôle des structures agricoles ».

Up until now, the control of agricultural set-ups was set by national guidelines, who were applied at a departmental level to reflect local criteria.
However the new law has shifted the departmental framework. Thus, during the course of 2015 regional masterplans (« schema directeur régional ») will replace existing departmental masterplans. A decree of the French Conseil d’État should come specify the conditions and new development modalities of said regional masterplans, however the decree has not been issued yet.

The regional masterplans should set some basic standards, and in particular define the surface threshold beyond which a farming license is required.
Memo: The reference unit (« l’unite de reference », l’UR) previously defined at a departmental level has been abolished by the new law.

The transactions that trigger the control of agricultural structures remain largely unchanged: new set-ups, expansions or farm holdings. However the threshold should be lowered to be situated between 1/3 and 1 regional average agricultural area. Mechanically this will have for effect the increase in numbers of transactions subject to authorization.

To summarize new set-ups, expansions or farm holdings are subject to prior approval provided that:
– the total area to be farmed exceeds a threshold determined by the regional masterplan – we are still awaiting said plan, however and to give you an idea, before the departmental plan from December 29, 2000 stipulated that the total area would need to exceed 1.5 times the reference unit (UR). This was the equivalent of 33 hectares of vines used in AOC Bordeaux red;
– the purchasing structure contains no member qualified as a farmer, and this whatever the total area purchased to be farmed.
Therefore, the purchase of a vineyard by an investor will normally be subject to obtaining a license to operate.

Memo: Until the publication of the new regional masterplans, which should take place this year, the regulations on control of agricultural set-ups will continue to apply as before.

 

  • The pre-emption rights of the SAFER

The main agricultural bodies that supervise farmland transfers are the SAFER.

Each SAFER has a right of first refusal allowed by the Prefect (« Monsieur le Préfet »). Dependent on the geographical area they are granted a minimum surface area of real estate sold over which their right may be used.
The minimum area granted to the SAFER Aquitaine, for example (which covers the departments of the Gironde, the Landes and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques) is 10 ares (0,25 acres) in the wine-growing areas where wine have an « appelation d’origine protégée » (APO).

Similarly are also subject to the pre-emption rights of the SAFER transfers of immovable property used for agricultural purposes, and their movable assets, as provided by Articles L.143-1, R.143-1 and following of the Rural code.

 

Share deals in the wine sector

As part of a share deal, the buyer (investor or farmer) purchases the shares and equity stakes of the company that owns the assets necessary to run and operate the vineyard, winery and trade of all its products.

In such a case the farms operations continue to be performed notwithstanding the change in ownership.
Benefits, costs, rights and obligations associated with the existing assets and liabilities (debts) remain within the company and all potential risks associated with the above are usually taken over by the purchaser.

Memo: As part of the agreement between the selling company and the purchaser of certain assets, subsidiaries or investments, the company is subject to standard warranty clauses relating to assets and liabilities. The asset and liability granted ensures the purchaser that all the necessary resources are indeed owned by the company and that there are no hidden liabilities. In practice the vendor makes several statements in the contract about the company in which he basically declares the assets of the company sold (the existence of said assets and regularity of the accounting methods). In addition, he ensures the shareholder’s equity on a given date (of the latest balance sheet) and agrees to pay the purchaser all decreases whose generating phenomenon took place before the date of the last balance sheet. This guarantee is given over a period of time and will have a fixed ceiling.

Three main corporate structures exist where farming is concerned:
– Landholding companies – called « Groupements Fonciers Agricoles » (GFA)
They are agricultural land groupings whose purpose are to create or to preserve one or more farms. They have the specificity to enable people to preserve land holdings outside the strict definition of the farm.
At least two partners are required in a GFA.

– Farm management companies – called « Sociétés Civiles d’Exploitation agricole ou viticole » (SCEA /SCEV)
Their aim is to manage or run a farm. They provide the advantage of allowing non-farming partners, investment companies for example.

– Commercial companies – of which we have les « Groupements d’intérêt économique et environnemental » (GIEE)

giee

This is a new tool created by the last agricultural law of October 2014.
The aim is to promote the emergence of collective dynamics taking into account both economic and environmental objectives. And to encourage their creation they will benefit from a deliberately flexible framework, no imposed form or legal status.

 

  • No requirement to obtain a farming licence

The control of agricultural set-ups is not specific to the asset deals.
Are also subject transactions affecting the share capital of the management companies in order to avoid the setting-up of companies whose sole purpose would be to avoid said regulations.

For example the Ministry of Agriculture considers that if a farmer takes an interest in any operating company he must be subject to prior authorization provided that the total surface area exceeds the threshold defined in the master plan. Indeed, such an action is seen as an extension of the initial set-up, subject to authorization.

However things are not all clear when it comes to share deals, and uncertainties arise especially when it comes to financial participations.
The concern comes from the large definition of the concept of farming business (« exploitation agricole ») within the meaning of Article L.331-1 of the Rural Code.

A circular from the Ministry of Agriculture of May 21st, 2008 states that « the mere financial contribution in an agricultural company is not subject to authorization under the control of agricultural set-ups. »
We can deduce from this the essence of the previous agricultural laws, i.e the fact that farmer is more important than the investment of non-farming partners.
However when we know the possible influence any investor can have on decision making it was envisaged to qualify investors as ‘farmers’ in regards to the control of agricultural set-ups.
The law of October 13, 2014 attempted to redefine the notion of farm businesses subject to the control by targeting « any direct or indirect contribution in another farm. » However the French Conseil Constitutionnel rejected the attempt, and judged that said provision infringed entrepreneurial freedom and property rights. Certain legal authors wrote that in order to comply with the constitution, the law should have specified « significant contributions » instead.

 

  • Henceforth a pre-emption right of the SAFER in share deals

Before the law of October 13, 2014 the pre-emption right of the SAFER could only be used when real estate used for agricultural purpose or farming land was sold.
Thus, as part of a share deal, the SAFER had no pre-emptive rights, even in the case of a massive transfer of shares. These transfers only needed to be declared to the authorities.

Now the SAFER may acquire by means of a private sale contracted directly with the vendor shares of farm management company (for example: SCEA) or a landholding company (for example: GFA). Thus, a SAFER can acquire:
* all the shares in a farming company,
* all or part of the shares of a GFA or GFR.

In addition, the SAFER now benefits from a right of first refusal in the event of the sale of shares. However please note that such pre-emptive rights may only be exercised in the event of sales of the entire shares of a farming company (for example: SCEA) or a landholding company (for example: GFA), and it may lead to the installation of a farmer.

 

So-called « retrocession operations » involving the SAFER

As we have mentioned above the principal aim of the SAFER is to purchase (part 1) rural property to sell it on again (part 2). They can also acquire, in the aim to improve property structures, shares in agricultural companies allowing to possess or to enjoy the farming business or land (Article L.141-1, II, 3°).
However the grounds on which a SAFER can intervene must be based on the interests of maintenance and development of the farming fraternity or the local environment. They would not be allowed to buy land to put up a commercial center for example.

 

  • How does it work?

Instead of going through with part 1 (purchasing the property) to its completion the SAFER also has the right to substitute one or more beneficiaries, who will purchase all or part of the farm in their place.
To do so, the SAFER will sign crossed unilateral promises with both the seller and the purchaser. The latter will have no contractual relationship until the day of the final signature.
However and due to the status of the SAFER, there must also be a public call for candidacies. At the end of a period of 15 days the SAFER will designate the person to whom the farm will be awarded. If no candidacies were made the SAFER will designate the potential purchaser with whom was signed the unilateral promise to purchase. Said person will substitute his/herself in the final deed.
It’s what we could call reconveyancing.

 

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of such an operation?

Two main advantages exist in this type of scheme:
Firstly, the company awarded the farm is by principal exempt from any application for farming permission, which can significantly speed up the completion of the transaction.
Secondly, the right of pre-emption of SAFER, of which is always source of shared uncertainty for the seller and the buyer, is automatically dismissed.

The main disadvantage to a simple and direct sale between the vendor and the purchaser is the intervention of a third party, i.e. the SAFER that has the power to buy and sell the estate.

Moreover, it cannot be excluded that after the candidacy procedure the SAFER chooses a third party (deemed a better candidate) who the farm would then be offered to.
Another disadvantage of this procedure is that the purchaser will subsequently be subject to the SAFER’s rules and regulations, such as the obligation to maintain the agricultural purpose of the property over a certain length of time, or to grant the SAFER a preferential right to purchase the property if it is sold within the next ten years.
We hope that this brief article relating to the specificities of vineyard transactions has been insightful.

Point sur l’impôt sur les plus-values de cession de titres *

Depuis le 1er janvier 2013, les plus-values de cession de titres sont imposées sans exception soit selon le régime général, soit selon le régime incitatif ;
La durée de détention devient le facteur clé du taux d’imposition :

LUCY1

 

 

I – Le régime général

Le régime général et le régime incitatif visent de manière identique les titres sociaux par un dirigeant et les titres détenus par un investisseur, les titres cotés et non cotés, sans aucune distinction.
La durée de détention pour l’application de l’abattement se calcule de date à date ;
La plus-value doit le cas échéant tenir compte de la réduction madelin (article 199 terdecies 0 A) obtenue au moment de l’investissement ;
L’abattement pour durée de détention est applicable aux gains nets : plus-values mais aussi… moins values.

Exemple de détermination du gain net :

ex1: Monsieur X cède en 2013 des titres de son portefeuille de valeurs mobilières et réalise ainsi une PV de 10.000 € sur des titres acquis l’année dernière et une moins-value de 10.000€ sur des titres acquis en 2002 → économiquement il n’a ni gagné ni perdu ; et pourtant fiscalement, il est imposable sur une plus value de 10.000€ sans abattement et pourra déduire une moins value de 3500€ (65% d’abattement), soit une PV nette de 6500€…

ex2: Monsieur Y cède en 2013 des titres fongibles d’une même société qu’il a acquis à des dates différentes :
– Acquisition de 100 titres à 10€ il y a 10 ans
– Acquisition de 100 titres à 30 € il y a 1 an ;
– Vente en 2013 de 150 titres pour 50 € ;

  • 2/3 des titres cédés ont été acquis il y a 10 ans et 1/3 des titres cédés ont été acquis l’année dernière (méthode PEPS ou FIFO pour l’application de l’abattement – BOI-RPPM-PVBMI-20-10-20-40, BOI-RPPM-PVBMI-20-10-20-20)
  • Abattement de 65% sur 3000€ et pas d’abattement sur 1500 €

 

II/ Le régime incitatif est applicable dans trois cas :

1) Lorsque le cédant a acquis ou souscrit les titres de l’entreprise dans les 10 premières années de sa création ;

2) Lorsque le dirigeant liquide ses droits à la retraite concomitamment à la cession ;

3) Lorsque la cession est réalisée au sein du groupe familial ;

Ce régime est applicable dès lors que la société émettrice des droits cédés respecte l’ensemble des conditions suivantes :

a) Elle est créée depuis moins de 10 ans et n’est pas issue d’une concentration, d’une restructuration, d’une extension ou d’une reprise d’activités préexistantes. Cette condition s’apprécie à la date de la souscription ou acquisition des droits cédés ;

b) Elle répond à la définition prévue au e du 2ème du I de l’article 199 terdecies-0A (PME au sens européen). Cette condition est appréciée à la date de clôture du dernier exercice précédant la date de souscription ou d’acquisition de ces droits ou, à défaut d’exercice clos, à la date du 1er exercice clos suivant la date de souscription ou d’acquisition de ces droits ;

c) Elle respecte la condition prévue au f du même 2e (aucune garantie en capital)

d) Elle est passible de l’IS ou IR ;

e) Elle a son siège social dans un Etat membre de l’UE ou dans un autre Etat partie à l’accord sur l’espace économique européen (EEE) ayant conclu une convention d’assistance administrative en vue de lutter contre la fraude et l’évasion fiscale ;

f) Elle exerce une activité commerciale, industrielle, artisanale, libérale ou agricole à l’exception de la gestion de son propre patrimoine mobilier ou immobilier :

  • Lorsque la société émettrice des droits cédés est une holding animatrice, au sens du dernier alinéa du VI quater du même article 199 terdecies-0 A, le respect des conditions mentionnées au 1° s’apprécie au niveau de la société émettrice et de chacune des sociétés dans laquelle elle détient des participations ;
  • Les conditions prévues aux 4° à 8° aliénas du c au f s’apprécient de manière continue depuis la date de création de la société
  • En cas de cession des titres reçus en contrepartie d’un apport en sursis (150-0 B), les conditions précédentes s’apprécient au niveau de la holding bénéficiaire de l’apport ;
  • En cas de cession des titres en report (150-0 B ter), la PV en report peut bénéficier de l’abattement renforcé si la société apportée remplit les conditions. La PV de cession des titres reçus en échange peut également en bénéficier si les conditions précédentes sont également remplies par la holding ;

LUCY2

Le report d’imposition établi sur le fondement du II de l’article 92 B du CGI ou du I ter de l’article 160 du CGI, expire également lorsque les titres grevés dudit report font l’objet d’une opération d’apport entrant dans le champ d’application de l’article 150-0 B ter.

Les PV placées en report d’imposition pour lesquelles le report expire à compter du 1er janvier 2013 sont donc imposables au barème progressif de l’IRPP. S’agissant d’une règle d’assiette, les abattements pour durée de détention prévus au 1 de l’article 150-0 D ter ne s’appliquent pas à ces plus-values.

Attention pas d’abattement pour les PV dont le report est antérieur au 1er janvier 2013
L’abattement pour durée de détention ne s’applique pas notamment aux gains nets de cession d’échange ou d’apport réalisés avant le 1er janvier 2013 et placés en report d’imposition.
Pour autant, les PV en report d’imposition par application de l’article 150-0B ter peuvent bénéficier de l’abattement si celles-ci sont réalisées après le 1er janvier 2013.

Pour le décompte de la durée de détention :

  • Décompte de la durée de détention à partir de la date d’acquisition des titres remis à l’échange (150-0 B, 93 quater, 151 octies),
  • Sauf si la PV est placée en report d’imposition dans le cadre du 150-0 B ter. Le point de départ de la durée de détention est la date de l’échange.
  • En cas de sursis d’imposition (150-0 B), l’apport est une opération intercalaire qui ne scinde pas la durée de détention (durée de détention unique et continue calculée entre l’acquisition et la cession) ;
  • En cas de report d’imposition (150-0 B ter), l’apport fige une 1ère PV tenant compte d’une 1ère durée de détention et en cas de cession des titres reçus en échange postérieurement, une seconde PV sera calculée tenant compte d’une seconde durée de détention.

Exemple :
LUCY3 LUCY4

En l’absence d’apport en 2012, la PV aurait été de 690 avec un abattement de 85% (RI) compte tenu d’une durée de détention totale de 9 ans, soit une PV nette imposable de 103,5 (690 x 15%). Le contribuable paiera donc un impôt près de 5 fois supérieur au montant qu’il aurait payé en l’absence d’apport…
Exemple en cas d’apport en sursis :

LUCY5
La PV est de 590 et la durée de détention est de 10 ans (date de détention des titres remis à l’échange) : l’abattement renforcé de 85% peut trouver à s’appliquer si toutes les autres conditions sont remplies.

 

Exemple en cas d’apport en report :
LUCY6
La PV placée en report d’imposition peut bénéficier de l’abattement renforcé mais la durée de détention est inférieure à 8 ans , donc abattement de 65% sur 290. La 2ème PV de 300 peut également bénéficier de l’abattement renforcé mais avec une durée de détention de 3 ans, soit 50% d’abattement. La PV nette après abattement est donc de 251,5 contre 88,5 dans l’exemple précédent (rapport de 1 à 3 environ !).

 

Départ à la retraite du dirigeant :
Les commentaires administratifs relatifs à l’abattement en faveur du dirigeant de PME partant à la retraite applicable avant le 1er janvier 2014 prévoyaient que les cessions de titres ou droit d’une même société réalisées conjointement par les membres du groupe familial ou par plusieurs cofondateurs pouvaient bénéficier, sous certaines conditions du dispositif de faveur.
Or les commentaires administratifs en consultation publique relatifs au dispositif applicable à compter du 1er janvier 2014 ne reprennent pas ces deux tolérances en faveur du conjoint et des co-fondateurs.

Cession intrafamiliale :
Reprenant l’interprétation antérieure applicable aux cessions intrafamiliale réalisées avant le 1er janvier 2014, les commentaires administratifs indiquent que : « l’abattement pour durée de détention renforcé ne s’applique pas en cas d’apport ou de cession consenti à une société, même de structure familiale, dès lors qu’une telle société est dotée d’une personnalité juridique distincte de celle de ses membres. Une telle opération ne garantirait pas, en effet, le respect de l’obligation de conservation des droits sociaux puisqu’elle permettrait en pratique d’éluder cette condition par le biais d’une cession des titres de la société.

 

* Source projet de présentation LDF 2015 par CSN et ORDRE DES EXPERTS COMPTABLES

Le rachat de ses propres titres par une société*

Désormais une option fiscale peut se trouver plus avantageuse qu’une distribution de dividendes.

  • En cas d’attribution aux salariés ou d’un plan de rachat d’actions (articles L.225-208 et suivants du Code de commerce) ;
  • En cas de réduction de capital (article L.225-207 du Code de commerce : « L’assemblée générale qui a décidé une réduction de capital non motivé par des pertes peut autoriser le conseil d’administration ou le directoire selon les cas à acheter un nombre déterminé d’actions pour les annuler ».
  • Afin de sortir un associé sans procéder au rachat de ses titres par les autres associés (article L.228-24 du Code de commerce : « Si la société n’agrée pas le cessionnaire proposé, le conseil d’administration, le directoire ou le gérant, selon les cas, sont tenus dans le délai de 3 mois à compter de la notification du refus, de faire acquérir les titres de capital ou de valeurs mobilières donnant accès au capital, soit par un actionnaire ou par un tiers, soit, avec le consentement du cédant, par la société en vue d’une réduction du capital ».

Le 20 Juin 2014 le Conseil Constitutionnel a invalidé le régime hybride imposant, en cas de rachat par une société de ses propres titres, le gain de rachat selon le régime des plus-values sous déduction de la fraction imposée comme un revenu distribué (décision MACHILLOT numéro 2014-404 QPC) ;

L’article 88 de la LFR 2014 aménage désormais le dispositif en généralisant l’application du régime des plus-values à l’ensemble des rachats de titres détenus par des associés à l’IRPP et en prévoyant l’application de ce régime aux titres détenus par des sociétés IS.

Le nouvel article 112, 6° du CGI exclut la qualification de revenus distribués au titre du rachat de titres (le régime du rachat de titres – associé IS):

  • Impossibilité pour les sociétés mères de se prévaloir du régime mère-fille
  • Application, si les conditions sont remplies, du régime d’exonération des plus-values nettes à long terme sur les cessions de titres de participation.

Le régime du rachat de titres (Associé IR) :

  • Application du régime des plus-values sur titres avec application des abattements pour durée de détention (50%, 65%, voire 85%)
  • A comparer au régime d’imposition des dividendes avec un abattement de 40% ;
  • Risque d’opportunisme fiscal : pouvant être qualifié d’abus de droit.

Le risque d’abus de droit :

  • Rachat de l’intégralité des titres d’un ou plusieurs associés par la société suite à un refus d’agrément ⇒aucun risque
  • Rachat de l’intégralité des titres d’un ou plusieurs associés par la société pour permettre sa sortie ⇒risque faible
  • Rachat de l’intégralité des titres d’un ou plusieurs associés par la société modifiant la répartition du capital à l’issue de l’opération ⇒risque modéré ;
  • Rachat proportionnel des titres de tous les associés par la société sans impacts sur la répartition du capital ⇒risque élevé.
*Source projet de présentation LDF 2015 par CSN et ORDRE DES EXPERTS COMPTABLES