France: Country-by-country public financial reporting held unconstitutional

France: Country-by-country public financial reporting

The French Constitutional Court (Conseil Constitutionnel) issued a decision concluding that a provision that imposes a country-by-country (CbC) public financial reporting requirement is unconstitutional. This type of CbC public financial reporting is distinguishable from CbC reporting for tax purposes.

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The court examined the provision of a law known in English as: Law regarding transparency, fight against corruption and modernization of the economic life which is also known as Loi Sapin II. In a decision (8 December 2016), the court determined that the provision of this law that imposes a CbC public financial reporting results in a disproportionate breach with respect to the freedom of enterprise and is as such unconstitutional.

The court considered that the law’s requirement for certain companies to make public certain information about their economic and fiscal indicators on a CbC basis would allow all entities conducting business in the same markets—including competitors—to identify important elements of the company’s industrial and commercial strategies. As a consequence, this would give rise to a disproportionate breach of the freedom of enterprise and thus must be declared, as a whole, to be unconstitutional.

KPMG observation

The CbC tax reporting under the French Finance Law for 2016 (not public, and applicable to financial years beginning as of 1 January 2016) is not affected by the court’s decision and remains applicable.

 

For more information, contact a tax professional with Fidal* in France or with KPMG in the United States:

Gilles Galinier-Warrain | +33 1 55 68 16 54 | gilles.galinier-warrain@fidal.com 

Olivier Ferrari | +33 1 55 68 18 14 | olivier.ferrari@fidal.com

Laurent Leclercq | +33 1 55 68 16 42 | laurent.leclercq@fidal.com

Patrick Seroin | +1 (212) 954-2523 | patrickseroin@kpmg.com

 

* Fidal is a French law firm that is independent from KPMG and its member firms.

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