Guarantee against changes in doctrine: towards a restriction of enforceability in relation to artificial arrangements
In a ruling dated 28 October 2020, the State Council has limited the application of the guarantee provided for in Article L 80 A of the LPF. This guarantee allows the taxpayer to oppose their own doctrine in the event of a dispute with the administration, if the latter relies on an interpretation of the tax law that has been accepted by the administration and contained in a circular or official public finance bulletin. The taxpayer may rely on this doctrine even if it is contrary to the law.
The State Council has limited the scope of this guarantee to acts constituting an abuse of rights and in particular those which constitute fraud against the law, such as artificial arrangements.
It is specified that the administration must prove by objective elements that the taxpayer is part of the artificial arrangement, devoid of any substance and whose sole purpose is to evade or reduce taxes.
By this decision, the administration reduces the guarantees of the taxpayers before the tax authorities.
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