The Finance Law for 2022, promulgated on 30 December 2021, aims to “provide support for the recovery of economic activity”. It enters into force from the income tax due for the year 2021. As well as the corporate tax due for the financial years ended from 31 December 2021. In a context of exit from the crisis linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, the measures adopted for professionals are mainly aimed at reducing the tax burden. Most of the measures seek to overcome the difficulties encountered by managers in finding a buyer when selling their business. The preferential tax regimes in the event of transfer are thus relaxed and extended. The reduction in corporate taxes also continues.
Relaxation of the preferential regimes applicable to managers who sell their company as part of a retirement with the 2022 finance law
Thus, the conditions for the application of the fixed allowance of EUR 500,000 reserved for capital gains on the sale of securities are becoming more flexible (1). As well as those of the exemption on the capital gain established on the sale of a sole proprietorship or a company covered by the tax regime for partnerships (2).
Concretely, the transferor takes advantage of an additional year to cease any function in the transferred company. He thus has three years rather than two to assert his pension rights. This, however, provided that he asserts his rights between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2021, and that retirement precedes the transfer. This implies that those who retire from 1 January 2022 do not benefit from this measure of the 2022 Finance Law.
Extension of the exemption on the capital gain recognized on the sale of a given fund under lease management
The transferor of a business given in lease management can benefit from preferential regimes on the capital gain recorded at the time of the transfer (3). This, however, on the double condition that he has carried out the activity transferred for at least five years before the lease of the fund; and that the transfer is made for the benefit of the tenant-manager. The 2022 Finance Act removes this second condition.
From now on, the transfer can therefore take place for the benefit of a third party and benefit from the aforementioned provisions. Provided, of course, that it covers all the elements contributing to the operation of the activity.
Increase in the ceilings to benefit from the exemption on capital gains on the sale of a sole proprietorship or a complete branch of activity
The 2022 Finance Act increases the maximum value of the items transferred when selling sole proprietorships or entire branches of activity (4). Thus, the ceiling increases to € 500,000 (instead of € 300,000) for a total exemption from the capital gain recorded; and €1 million (instead of €500,000) for a partial exemption.
Temporary faculty of tax depreciation of the business with the 2022 finance law
With the 2022 Finance Act, companies can deduct from their taxable result the depreciation recorded in the accounts in respect of commercial funds acquired between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2025.
Opening of the corporate tax option to all sole proprietorships
The 2022 Finance Act anticipates the tax consequences of the draft law in favour of self-employed professional activity, scheduled for early 2022. For good reason, this law creates a new unique status of individual entrepreneur. A provision that then leads the status of Individual Limited Liability Company to disappear.
The Finance Act allows the individual entrepreneur to opt for corporation tax without having to change his legal status, as was the case before. Thus, the entrepreneur who wishes to be subject to the IS will be able to opt for its assimilation to a EURL. Or, for an agricultural activity, to an EARL of which he will be the sole partner.
Extension of the option period for an actual tax regime
Companies that are automatically covered by the so-called micro-BIC regime see the periods of option and renunciation of this option for a real tax regime extended. This measure applies to new businesses, or those whose threshold for coverage of the real regime is not reached.
Thus, the option period ran until February 1 before the 2022 finance law. It is extended until the deadline for filing the all-year income tax return for year N-1. Either in practice, during the months May-June of year N.
Further lowering of the corporate tax rate with the 2022 Finance Act
The 2022 finance law continues the lowering of the rate applicable to the IS initiated several years ago. As a result, the corporate tax rate is now 15% for profits below 38,120 euros; and 25% for the fraction above this threshold.
Finally, it is specified that the “inflation allowance”, announced by the Prime Minister in October, is not subject to income tax or social contributions. It concerns both employees and self-employed professionals.
Extension of the duration of the status of young innovative company (JEI)
The duration of the status of young innovative company (JEI) gains 3 years. As a reminder, this status gives the right to the benefit of tax and social exemptions.
On the other hand, to become a JEI, a company must have at least 11 years of activity. Before the 2022 finance law, it took 8 years of existence. The other conditions remain the same.
Transposition of the “DAC 7” directive by the 2022 Finance Act: introduction of a reporting obligation for online platforms
The 2022 Finance Act transposes into internal order the provisions of the European directive known as “DAC-7”. From now on, online platform operators must put in place procedures to accurately identify their users as well as their tax residence.
In concrete terms, platforms must therefore declare the transactions for the provision of services; those of rental of means of transport or real estate; or transactions involving the sale of goods carried out which reside in the European Union. And what they concern by natural persons or entities.