1/ Scope of consumer’s protection under “unfair dispositions”
The high court confirmed recently that when a contract is concluded between a professional and non-professional/consumer, the dispositions of the contract which have the object or effect of creating towards the non-professional a significant imbalance concerning its rights and obligations are considered as unfair (art. L. 132-1 French consumer code).
However, this rule does not apply to the contracts concerning the supply of goods or services concluded between commercial companies (ie. 2 professionnals).
Cass. com., 3 déc. 2013, n° 12-26.416, n° 1158 F-D
2/ Bermuda and Jersey has been removed from the 2014 list of the non-cooperative states (tax)
The list of non-cooperative states has been updated for 2014. As announced, Bermuda and Jersey are no longer part of it. Operators located or doing transactions with these states are no longer charged with a more restrictive application of tax provisions.
Decree of 17 January 2014
3/ What 2014 budget laws change for companies?
Budget laws published at the end of 2013 have introduced two significant measures concerning companies:
- The introduction of a new tax on high incomes
- An amendment in the tax allowance mechanism applied to capital gains on the shares sold.
4/ Loss of a current account advance by a partner justifies an individual and personal action for damages
The loss of money put in a current account advance by the creditor of a company subject to insolvency proceedings constitutes a personal damage under which he may exercise an individual action for damages.
Cass. com., 10 déc. 2013, n° 11-22.188, n° 11-22.712, n° 11-25.432, n° 1081 F-P + B
5/ Accounting obligations of micro-enterprise (less than 10 salaries) and small companies (less than 50 salaries)
A future French Government Regulation will decrease the burden of accounting obligations of small companies.
- Will not be required to add an appendix to their annual accounts, which represents a time-saving estimated to a total of 1.1 million hours per year ;
- Will be able to request, when filing their accounts at the Registry of the Commercial Court, that these accounts are not published.
– Small companies will be authorized to establish their accounts (balance sheet, income statement) on a simplified model, which will reduce the burden of establishment and audit of their accounting statements;
The text will apply immediately for the financial year 2013 and filed on or after April 1st, 2014.
Press Release, Council of Ministers, 29th Jan 2014
6/ Cap of solidarity tax on wealth (ISF) by life insurance contracts’ holders taxpayers
In contradiction with the administrative position, French Constitutional Council recently ruled out that life insurance contract’s income would not be taken into account when establishing the ISF.
As a consequence, French administration updated its position and deleted its previous interpretation laid out in § 200 BOI-PAT-ISF-40-60-20130614.