France Boasts Success Of CICE Tax Credit Pre-Finance Scheme
21 May 2013
Posted by: Author: Ulrika Lomas
Source: Ulrika Lomas (Tax-News.com, Brussels)
The French Finance Ministry has highlighted the success of the Government's pre-financing mechanism for the new tax credit for competitiveness and employment (CICE), three months after the scheme was launched.
According to the Finance Ministry, as at May 14, 2013, 2,670 requests for CICE pre-finance had been submitted, for a total sum of EUR488m (USD628m). So far, 1,850 businesses have received pre-finance totalling EUR191m, while 574 files are currently being examined, with pre-finance requests amounting to EUR145m, and 246 requests pending (EUR152m). Public bank Oséo currently receives almost 100 new requests for CICE pre-finance every day.
The CICE pre-finance mechanism aims to give immediate cash flow support to companies in France, by allowing Oséo and commercial banks in France to finance up to 85 percent of the CICE tax credit in advance. The measure is simple. Firms are merely required to provide details of their company registration documents, together with their latest balance sheet and payroll evidence, to the regional Oséo office, or to their commercial bank. Alternatively, businesses may apply via the CICE Oséo Internet link. The turnaround period, being the time taken from submitting a request to the actual payment date, is swift.
The scheme was made available to all companies in France, irrespective of their size, on April 5.
A banner feature of the Government's national pact for growth, competitiveness and employment, presented by the French Prime Minister on November 6, 2012, the CICE amounts to a reduction in social contributions for corporations, and aims to give companies the means with which to improve their competitiveness and to support employment.
Included in the 2012 supplementary finance law, the CICE entered into force on January 1, 2013, and will allow 1.5 million companies in France to benefit from tax credits of EUR13bn in 2013 and EUR20bn in 2014.
The CICE tax credit amounts to 4 percent of gross payroll for remuneration equal to or below 2.5 times the minimum wage in 2013, rising to 6 percent in 2014. The rules will be the same as for general reductions in social contributions and for the research tax credit with which companies are already familiar.