The advance ruling procedure on permanent establishments

Purpose of the procedure

Foreign businesses can apply to the tax administration for an advance ruling to receive assurance of the fact that they do not have a permanent establishment or fixed base in France as defined by the tax treaty between France and their country of residence..

Who is the service for ?

This procedure, codified in articles L 80 B 6) and R* 80 B 9) of the Book of Tax Procedures (Livre des Procédures Fiscales), is available to all taxpayers residing in a country that has a tax treaty with France when these taxpayers conduct or intend to conduct one or more economic activities in France without setting up as a company under French law.

This advance ruling procedure is exclusively for legal entities and natural persons residing abroad and wanting to obtain confirmation from the French tax administration that they do not possess in France a permanent establishment or fixed base for the purpose of profits tax under the terms of the tax treaty signed by France with their country of residence.

How do you apply?

Simply submit a written application in French including a full, accurate presentation of the business activity in France together with your legal analysis of your situation in view of the applicable treaty, accompanied by the model questionnaire available below, also available in English.

Once you have written the application and filled in the questionnaire, send them by registered letter (or deliver them by hand in return for a receipt) to the Taxation Legislation Service (Authorisations and Advance Rulings Office) at the Public Finances General Directorate at the following address:

Direction Générale des Finances Publiques
Service Juridique de la Fiscalité
Bureau des Agréments et Rescrits
86-92 allée de Bercy
Télédoc 957
75574 Paris Cedex 12
FRANCE

The administration has three months to answer as of its receipt of your application or, where applicable, as of the receipt of any further information it asks you for.
The absence of an answer within three months implies the administration’s agreement that there is no permanent establishment in France.

Situations not referred to by the procedure provided for in L 80 B 6) of the Book of Tax Procedures   

Some applications come under the scope of the provisions of 1) of Article L 80 B of the Book of Tax Procedures and are therefore eligible for the guarantees associated with this general advance ruling system. These applications are those whereby foreign businesses wish to obtain confirmation from the tax administration :

    • That they actually do have a permanent establishment or fixed base in France for profits tax purposes under the terms of the tax treaty between their country of residence and France;
    
    • Or, in the absence of an international tax treaty signed by France with their country of residence, whether or not they have a permanent establishment or fixed base in France for profits tax purposes under the terms of French domestic legislation;
    
    • Or whether or not they have a permanent establishment for VAT purposes.