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Important CORONAVIRUS – Measures against the CORONAVIRUS in France How to limit the effects on your business

16 Mar 2020

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear customers,

Like all French and German firms, our offices must adapt its activity to take into account the restrictions resulting from the exceptional measures taken by the authorities in the fight against the Coronavirus.

A majority of our employees has expressed the wish to work from home within the framework of teleworking. However, the office shall be continuously staffed on a voluntary basis, and in any case all of our employees working remotely shall remain reachable through our telephone switchboard.

All of our teams are provided with a laptop and will be able to connect remotely to the firm’s servers.

Furthermore, in the coming days we will be implementing an IT solution that will be made available to you and which will allow us not only to meet by videoconference but also to work on documents simultaneously and to sign them within the framework of a virtual meeting.

This being said, we would like to give you a preliminary update on how you are likely to be impacted by this situation, as well as on the means of response that are available to you.

The French authorities have already announced exceptional measures to support businesses:

– Corporate Taxation and other taxes

It is possible to request from the corporate tax department – without justification and without payment of penalties – the postponement of the payment of future direct taxes (advance payment of corporate tax, payroll tax, CFE, CVAE).

Requests can be made via the website https://www.impot.gouv.fr.

In cases where advance payments for the said taxes have already been made, it is also possible to request a refund.

Please note that professional access to the www.impot.gouv.fr website requires identifiers that not all companies have. If your declarations are usually made by your external accountant, it is advisable to contact your accountant so that these steps can be taken.

A simplified form is available at :
https://www.impots.gouv.fr/portail/files/media/1_metier/2_professionnel/EV/4_difficultes/440_situation_difficile/20200402_formulaire_fiscal_
simplifie_delai_ou_remise_coronavirus.pdf

One may also request a rebate of the same tax items, provided you show evidence of a decrease in turnover, cash position and current liabilities.

It would also be possible to request a postponement of the deadlines for VAT returns without the application of penalties, in accordance with the general rules of tax procedure.

– Social security contributions

It is possible to ask the URSSAF (Organizations for the payment of social security and family benefit contributions) – without justification or payment of penalties – to postpone the future due dates for employer and employee contributions. Since the February nominative social declaration (‘déclaration sociale nominative’ or ‘DSN’) due dates are either March 5 or March 15, most of you will have already paid the March due date. However, until March 19 at 12:00 p.m., it is still possible to adjust the payment (in the event that your DSN return was due on March 15) by using the process specified here: https://www.urssaf.fr/portail/files/live/sites/urssaf/files/documents/modification-paiementcotisations.pdf. For those who make their declarations outside of the system of the DSN, a modulation remains possible even after the expiry of the above dates.

In any event, the employer’s contributions may be spread over time, as was possible in the past: to do so, log in to your online space on urssaf.fr and report your situation via the messaging system: “New message” / “A declaratory formality” / “Declare an exceptional situation”. More information is available on their website : https://www.urssaf.fr/portail/home/actualites/autresactualites/epidemie-de-coronavirus.html.

 – BPI France / cash management

In addition to the above, BPI France has set up a hotline (09 69 37 02 40) for companies, enabling (i) a BPI guarantee to be obtained for cash loans requested from French banking institutions, (ii) an extension of traditional guarantees and investment credits and (iii), for BPI France customers, a rescheduling of medium and long-term credits upon reasoned request.

Requests should be made via https://contacts.bpifrance.fr/serviceclient/demande/siege

 – Partial unemployment

Recourse to partial unemployment (partial activity) will be facilitated. In particular by speeding up the processing period for applications, which is usually 15 days. In addition, applications may be examined after the implementation of partial activity by the company. Applications are made via https://activitepartielle.emploi.gouv.fr/aparts/.

As a reminder, partial activity is a collective measure under which (i) the employer pays the employee 70% of the gross salary corresponding to the hours not worked (i.e. 84% of the net salary) and (ii) may request monthly payments from the State amounting to 7.74 euros (for companies with 1 to 250 employees) per hour of work not worked for each employee.

In addition to these schemes specific to companies, there are schemes specific to employees and selfemployed to enable them to cope with the closure of schools. Each couple with a child under the age of 16 will be able, when the telework solution cannot be implemented, to request a 14-day work leave.

This possibility is only open to one of the two parents.

The information contained in this message is naturally subject to changes in accordance with future announcements to be made by the authorities.

The entire team of the firm stands alongside you from this Monday morning and will assist you with the implementation of these steps to maintain business activity and help you cope with the exceptional situation that the country is going through.

For further information, please feel free to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

SAGASSER Selas

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