Advantages for firms in ZRR areas

Residents in large swathes of rural France may be entitled totempting tax breaks on firms in a 'ZRR' zone

8 January 2014

RESIDENTS in large swathes of rural France may be entitled to
tempting tax breaks if they start or take on a business in a Zone
de Revitalisation Rurale (ZRR).

Areas designed as ZRRs cover much of France, especially away from the coast and are especially concentrated in the centre and south-west.

These are parts of the country which usually have a low or declining population and are of a mainly agricultural nature, often where many people have left the countryside to move to cities.

To see if your commune is among them, see the following map and zoom in to your area: www.tinyurl.com/ZRR-zones
It would be best also to double check with your mairie to ensure where you live qualifies.

Tax benefits are potentially numerous and may apply to a wide variety of businesses.

Firstly, if you set up or take on a business, under the réel (real expenses and deductions) taxation regime and which has less than 10 employees, you benefit from five years’ exemption from income or corporation tax on
profits, then partial for the following three (tax is levied on 25%, then 50% then 75%).

This is with certain provisos, eg. property rental or management
does not qualify.

It is claimed by filling in the relevant line when completing
your profit declaration.
Depending on whether or not your mairie voted for it, up to five-years’ exoneration from CFE business tax is also available for many businesses.

This requires a declaration to your SIE (service des impôts des
entreprises) on form cerfa n°14187*03 by the end of the year in the case of a start-up, and in May at the time of the annual CFE declaration on
cerfa n°10694*14.
See www.impots.gouv.fr and click recherche de formulaires to locate the forms.

A one-year exoneration may also be available from part of the employer’s social charges when taking on new staff.
A declaration is to be made on cerfa 10791*02 within 30 days, with an accompanying letter, to the social charges collection body Urssaf.

Some communes also provide exemption from the taxe foncière of two to five years for certain qualifying businesses.

Finally, again subject to a mairie decision, owners of gites, chambres d’hôtes or meublés de tourisme (furnished holiday lets) can be exonerated from taxe d’habitation on them if they complete an annual declaration to the tax office by the end of the previous year on 1205-GD-SD.

You can download this form from www.impots.gouv.fr
Click on Particuliers then Vos Impôts and taxe d’habitation (you need your access code) from the drop down menu.
At the bottom of the page click Demande d’exonération pour gîtes ruraux, chambres d’hôtes, meublés de tourisme en ZRR (1205-GD-SD).

If in doubt about which rights apply to a business you plan to start or take on, and how to ensure you benefit, the mairie, tax office, or an expert comptable (accountant) could advise.

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