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Guidance: Regime applicable to press publications

The value added tax (VAT) regime applicable to press publications, codified from article 298 septies of the general tax code (CGI) to article 298 terdecies of the CGI , provides for the application of special rates of VAT on certain operations relating to press publications.

I. Sales of press publications by number or by subscription

10

Sales, commissions and brokerage relating to all publications which meet the conditions provided for in article 72 of appendix III to the CGI or article 73 of appendix III to the CGI are subject to VAT, at the rates individuals exposed to III § 80 of BOI-TVA-SECT-40-10-30 , in all departments of metropolitan France and in the departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion.

II. Ancillary operations other than sales of single-issue or subscription publications

A. Insertion of advertising or announcements

20

Revenues from these insertions are, whatever the regime of the publication serving as support, liable to VAT at the normal rate.

B. Assignment and Retrocession of Information Items

30

These operations are subject to the reduced rate of 10% of VAT, instead of the normal rate, when they are carried out by a press company to another press company, and with a view to publishing publications which:

Attention is drawn to the fact that the benefit of the reduced rate of 10% is limited to operations of transfer or retrocession of information elements, which materially take the form of articles, reports, drawings or photographs ( CGI , s. 298 octies ).

The reduced rate of 10% therefore does not apply to other categories of transfers or retrocessions, in particular to retrocessions relating to articles of an advertising nature and to concessions of the right to use newspaper titles, except when the transfer relates to economic rights recognized by law to the authors of works of the mind ( CGI, art. 279, g ).

C. Transfer of title

40

The royalties which are received by the press companies, in return for the concession of the right to use the title of the publications of which they interrupt the edition, are subject to the normal rate of VAT.

D. Offprints – extracts

50

“Offprints” which differ from the press publications whose title they bear only by the quality of the paper used for their printing, are admitted to the same tax regime as these publications.

On the contrary, when extracts from press publications are printed, these prints can only benefit from the tax advantages provided for by article 298 septies of the CGI insofar as they themselves fulfill all the conditions provided for in article 72 of appendix III to the CGI or article 73 of appendix III to the CGI.

The Council of State has ruled that brochures, qualified as “offprints”, consisting of extracts cannot benefit from the tax regime provided for by article 298 septies of the CGI if they do not appear at regular intervals. ( EC, decision of October 30, 1979, No. 13494 , Publishing Company of the French review ).

E. Supplements

60

Very often, the additions to a newspaper or a review, called supplements, are the work of the editorial departments of this newspaper or this review, present a character of general interest as regards the dissemination of thought, have less two-thirds of their surface devoted to advertising and do not lead to an increase in the selling price of the basic newspaper or magazine. Under these conditions, no particular tax problem arises.

But if these conditions are not met, the supplement is taxed, either at the normal rate of VAT, or at the reduced rate if it meets the tax definition of the book, unless it can be considered, in law and in fact, as a separate publication fulfilling by itself the conditions required by article 72 of annex III to the CGI or article 73 of annex III to the CGI .

F. Special numbers

70

Special numbers, often motivated by an important current event or by a demonstration, are subject to the same tax regime as normal numbers insofar as they do not differ from the latter.

They can therefore benefit from any tax advantages granted to normal numbers, if they appear under the same title and fulfill the conditions set out in article 72 of annex III to the CGI and in article 73 of the CGI in the same way. Annex III to the CGI .

G. Collections of dead stock

80

Collections made using unsold copies of press publications follow the same tax regime as the publications that compose them, subject to:

  • that their sale is only incidental to that of the press publication;
  • that they are not made up of a special edition, but exclusively of unsold items.

These collections are subject to VAT subject to the same reservations and under the same conditions as the publications that constitute them.

The applicable rate is that in force at the time of the sale of the collections.

On the other hand, collections made up from press publications which have been redacted from certain articles, or trimmed or otherwise adapted are, in any event, liable to VAT, either at the normal rate, or at the reduced rate if these collections meet the book’s tax definition.

The Council of State ruled that the sale of collections of unsold copies cannot benefit from the tax advantages linked to publication when the seller, who bought from a company collections made by the latter from unsold issues of a periodical publication, did not itself ensure the sale by number of this review ( CE, decision of October 9, 1981, n°22969 , UNIDE ).

H. Press Broths

90

The term “bouillons” generally designates, in terms of the press, unsold publications which re-enter the commercial circuit in a form other than unsold collections.

From a tax point of view, it is necessary to distinguish between two categories of “broths”:

  • first category: those which, after having been sorted in order to eliminate damaged copies, are sold to booksellers, newsstand merchants, peddlers, who offer them, at a reduced price, to a new clientele of readers . This category is generally made up of decoration or gardening magazines, women’s magazines, that is to say by publications which are not directly linked to current events and which retain an intrinsic interest; some of these publications may not be resold as is, but may be cut to size (trimming) or transformed;
  • second category: those which are collected, either to supply raw materials for pulp mills, or for a use (packaging, stuffing, etc.) which does not correspond to the primary reading destination.

Category 1 press “bouillons”, i.e. those which continue to be intended for reading, are subject to the same tax regime as “new” publications , whether they are sold by the publisher , an agent or a professional specializing in the sale of sale items (RM Vivien no. 27001, JO AN of 1 August 1983, p. 3322).

This results in particular in the following consequences:

  • the “bouillons” are subject to the press regime provided for in article 298 septies and following of the CGI if the publication from which they come was itself covered by this regime at the time of the edition of the bouillonlés copies, even if during the sale of the latter the publication no longer benefits from it. In this regard, it is specified that the person liable must be able to provide, at the request of the service, all useful justifications;
  • the rate applicable to sales of “bouillons” benefiting from the press regime is that in force when the installments or the price are collected ( CGI, art. 298 nonies ).

In practice, the following situations may arise:

  • the publication from which the “bouillons” emanate benefited from the press regime at the time of the edition of the bouillonlés copies; sales of “bouillons” are subject to tax at the special rate (refer however to V § 210 for the overseas departments);
  • the publication did not benefit from the regime of the press at the time of the publication of the bubbled copies; sales of “bouillons” are subject to tax under the conditions of common law (depending on the case, normal rate or reduced rate, refer to IA § 20 of BOI-TVA-SECT-40-10-10 );
  • in the event of the sale of pouches containing “broths” subject to different regimes, the price must be broken down so that each element is subject to its own regime. Otherwise, the highest rate is applied to the whole;
  • the special regime reserved for ” sales agents ” registered with the Superior Council of press couriers and defined in article 298 undecies of the CGI also applies to commissions withdrawn by persons on the distribution of press ” broths ” benefiting from the press regime.

The “broths” falling under the second category are considered as recovered materials and as such fall under the regime provided for by 2 sexies of article 283 of the CGI .

I. Mobile binders

100

Mobile bindings delivered to subscribers for the conservation of journals are subject to the same rate of VAT as the sale of copies of the publication.

J. Table of Contents

110

The delivery of a table of contents to subscribers of a journal is generally carried out at no additional cost. If a price supplement is claimed, it is liable to VAT at the rate of the publication.

K. Amounts claimed for changes of address or in return for replies by mail

120

Sometimes, certain sums are specially requested by the publishers of publications to make changes of address of subscribers or as a contribution solely to postage and paper costs, incurred for correspondence with the various categories of readers. It is accepted that these sums are considered as a supplement to the sale price of the publications and are subject to the same VAT regime as the sale of the publication.

On the other hand, the sums that would be required in return for a mail consultation service offered to readers are subject to the normal rate of VAT.

L. Sales of printing waste by press companies with an integrated printing plant

130

Reference should be made to II-D § 200 of BOI-TVA-SECT-40-20-20 .

(140-150)

III. Imports and intra-Community acquisitions

A. Imports

160

Practically, the foreign press publications are:

The terms of import taxation are set out in VI § 220 to 330 .

B. Intra-Community acquisitions

1. General information about publications

170

Reference should be made to the common provisions set out in BOI-TVA-CHAMP-10-10-40-20 as well as, concerning the determination of liability, in II § 20 and following of BOI-TVA-BASE-20-30 .

It is specified that press publications from another Member State of the European Union may, like publications published in France, obtain a registration number with the Joint Commission for Publications and Press Agencies (CPPAP) and , after authorization from the professional taxation division and the forced recovery of the non-resident tax department, the benefit of the tax regime for press publications, in particular the application of the special rate of VAT.

When these conditions are met, the rate applicable to intra-Community acquisitions is the special rate; otherwise, the normal rate must be applied or the reduced rate if the publication meets the criteria specific to books.

2. Special case of non-advertising foreign publications specializing in the scientific and medical field

180

For non-advertising foreign publications specializing in the scientific and medical field with a periodicity of at least quarterly, the CPPAP uses a simplified procedure at the end of which the approval of the commission does not result in the awarding of a certificate of nominative registration but takes the form of lists of titles on which the stamp of the commission is affixed ( III-B-2 § 270 of BOI-TVA-SECT-40-20-20 ). The special rate of VAT is applicable without further action to intra-Community acquisitions of publications on these lists.

IV. Exports and intra-community deliveries

A. Exports

190

Exports of press publications are exempt from VAT pursuant to I of article 262 of the CGI , subject to the special case of shipments to overseas departments ( V § 210 ).

Official bodies established abroad, such as French diplomatic and consular missions, as well as certain persons residing outside France, may obtain, via the diplomatic bag, subscriptions to named periodical publications.

It is accepted that deliveries by companies of the publications concerned sent abroad by this process are considered as exports and, therefore, exempt from VAT.

The benefit of this measure is subject to the presentation, by the companies, of documents attesting to the merits of the dispatch to foreign countries, by means of the diplomatic bag, of the periodical publications delivered by subscription (in particular order forms and exchange of correspondence with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

B. Intra-Community deliveries

200

Deliveries of press publications sent or transported to another Member State of the European Union to another taxable person or a non-taxable legal person, when the latter does not benefit in its Member State from the derogatory regime authorizing not to subject its intra-community acquisitions to VAT (persons benefiting from a derogatory regime [PBRD]), are likely to be exempt from VAT pursuant to I of article 262 ter of the CGI ( BOI-TVA -CHAMP-30-20-10 ).

Deliveries of press publications dispatched or transported to another Member State of the European Union to a non-taxable legal entity benefiting in its Member State from the derogatory regime (PBRD) or to any other non-taxable person (individuals in particular) follow the remote sales regime set out in I § 20 to 80 of BOI-TVA-CHAMP-10-10-40-60 .

Note: Deliveries of goods sent or transported from France to another Member State of the European Union to diplomatic or consular missions, international organizations, and the armed forces of a State party to the Treaty of Atlantique Nord other than the Member State of arrival of the goods, cannot benefit from the exemption provided for by I of article 262 ter of the CGI, since these purchasers do not provide the seller with an identification number VAT in the state where they are located.

However, pursuant to Article 151 of Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax , these deliveries may benefit from an exemption under the conditions set by the Member State of reception of diplomatic missions, international organizations and the armed forces.

To this end, the purchaser must provide his French supplier with a certificate stamped by the competent authorities of this State. The seller puts this document in support of his accounts to justify the non-payment of VAT.

V. Regime for French publications from or to the departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion

210

Imports and sales of periodical publications (registered or not on the registers of the CPPAP) carried out in mainland France and in the departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion are subject to VAT in application of I of the article 291 of the CGI and article 298 septies of the CGI .

In addition, exports of publications are exempt in accordance with I of article 262 of the CGI . The same applies to intra-Community deliveries of publications exempt from VAT according to the provisions of I of article 262 ter of the CGI .

With regard to relations between mainland France and the departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion, and the relations that these departments maintain with each other, the implementation of these provisions for French publications sold by number has given rise to difficulties due to the delivery time and the special status of sales agents involved in the distribution of newspapers and periodicals.

The regime applicable to these publications is set out in IB § 30 of BOI-TVA-SECT-40-10-30 .

VI. Imports

220

These provisions are applicable to periodical publications.

A. Import of periodicals published in France and printed abroad

230

Article 298 octies of the CGI provides that “the work of composition and printing of periodicals are subject to the reduced rate of 10% of VAT”.

Import VAT is based on the value of the work carried out by the foreign printer, increased where applicable by the value of the supplies, such as paper.

The reduced rate of 10% is applicable regardless of the tax regime of the periodical publication which was the subject of this work.

Are also subject to the reduced rate of 2.1%, composition and printing work carried out in metropolitan France, Guadeloupe, Martinique or Reunion, relating to periodical publications published and imported in one of these three other territories ( CGI, art. 296, 1°-a ).

B. Importation into mainland France of periodicals published and printed abroad

1. By press courier companies

240

When periodical publications are imported by press courier companies governed by Law No. 47-585 of April 2, 1947 , the value serving as the basis for VAT is the face value (selling price per issue in France) reduced a reduction of 75% which notably takes account of unsold goods on a flat-rate basis.

2. Subscriptions taken out with an intermediary established in France

250

This intermediary can be:

  • either an organization or a specialized company acting as a buyer-seller;
  • either a broker who has taken on the position of agent with regard to either the foreign publisher or the French subscriber.

260

When a subscription to a foreign publication has been taken out through an intermediary, two situations may arise.

has. The intermediary receives the magazines before forwarding them to the subscriber

265

In this situation, the intermediary, as the recipient of the goods, will be designated as liable for the VAT due on the import ( CGI, art. 293 A, 2-3° ). He must therefore declare and pay the amounts due on his declaration of turnover and may simultaneously deduct them under the conditions of common law (reverse charge mechanism on CA3) insofar as these imports are made for the purpose of carry out operations giving rise to the right to deduct, namely the delivery of magazines to subscribers.

The reverse charge on CA3 of import VAT does not exempt intermediaries from carrying out customs clearance operations with the competent customs services (submission of a detailed declaration).

b. Journals are sent directly from abroad to the subscriber

267

This flow fulfills the qualification conditions for distance selling of goods imported from third-party territory or third-party countries (“VAD-BI”, on this point, please refer to I § 20 to 80 of the BOI-TVA-CHAMP- 10-10-40-60 ) whose rules of territoriality are studied in II § 50 to 70 of BOI-TVA-CHAMP-20-20-30 .

The subscriber as the recipient of the goods will be designated as liable for the VAT due on importation ( CGI, art. 293 A, 2-3° ). In concrete terms, the registered customs representative (RDE), in charge of customs clearance formalities, will advance the VAT amounts owed by the subscriber to the customs department before being reimbursed for these amounts from the subscriber, when delivery of the magazine. To this end, the RDE may avail itself of the special regime provided for in Article 298 sexdecies I of the CGI for the declaration and payment of import VAT with regard to goods shipped or transported to France.

Note: In accordance with 3° of article 298 sexdecies I of the CGI and by way of derogation from the provisions of article 278-0 bis of the CGI in article 281 octies of the CGI , the importation of goods carried out under the regime particular of article 298 sexdecies I of the CGI is subject to the normal rate of 20% of the VAT provided for in article 278 of the CGI ( IV § 390 of the BOI-TVA-LIQ-20-10 ).

269

However, in order to facilitate the administrative procedures of its subscribers, on the one hand, and to avoid possible taxation of their magazine at the normal rate of VAT, on the other hand, the intermediary retains the possibility of opting, in accordance with 2° of II of article 293 A quater of the CGI , to be designated liable for the import operation. This option has two consequences in terms of VAT:

  • with regard to the amounts of VAT due on importation, the intermediary must declare them by means of his declaration of turnover under the conditions of common law ( III-C § 180 to 210 of the BOI-VAT- DECLA-10-20 ). These amounts of VAT will also be deducted simultaneously on the same declaration of turnover insofar as these imports are carried out with the aim of carrying out operations giving rise to the right to deduct, namely the VAD-BI of the magazines to the subscribers;
  • the relocation in France of VAD-BI of journals to subscribers carried out through the intermediary in accordance with V of article 258 of the CGI ( II § 60 of BOI-TVA-CHAMP-20-20-30 ). The intermediary must therefore declare and pay the VAT due on these operations, either by means of his declaration of turnover, or via the one-stop shop “Import One Stop Shop” (IOSS) provided for in article 298 sexdecies H of the CGI if he has joined (for more details on the declarative and payment facilities offered by the IOSS, please refer to BOI-TVA-DECLA-20-20-60 ).

Note: In particular, the option for the IOSS allows the exemption of VAT amounts due on the importation of goods subject to VAD-BI.

(270)

3. Subscriptions taken out directly by the subscriber, with a foreign publisher

280

This flow meets the VAD-BI qualification conditions ( I § 20 to 80 of BOI-TVA-CHAMP-10-10-40-60 ) whose territoriality rules are studied in II § 50 to 70 of BOI-TVA- FIELD-20-20-30 . In this situation, import VAT is in principle due by the subscriber, unless the foreign seller opts to be designated as liable in accordance with 1° of II of article 293 A quarter of the CGI .

285

Indeed, the subscriber as the recipient of the goods will be designated liable for the VAT due on importation ( CGI, art. 293 A, 2-3° ). In concrete terms, the RDE, in charge of customs clearance formalities, will advance the amounts of VAT owed by the subscriber to the customs service before being reimbursed for these amounts from the subscriber, upon delivery of the magazine. To this end, the RDE can take advantage of the special regime provided for in article 298 sexdecies I of the CGI for the declaration and payment of import VAT with regard to goods shipped or transported to France.

Note: In accordance with 3° of article 298 sexdecies I of the CGI and, by way of derogation from the provisions of article 278-0 bis of the CGI in article 281 octies of the CGI , the importation of goods carried out within the framework of the special regime of article 298 sexdecies I of the CGI is subject to the normal rate of 20% of the VAT provided for in article 278 of the CGI ( IV § 390 of the BOI-TVA-LIQ-20-10 ).

287

If the foreign seller opts to be designated as liable for import VAT in accordance with 2° of II of article 293 A quarter of the CGI, the applicable VAT regime is identical to that examined in VI-B-2- b § 269 , except that this time it concerns the foreign publisher directly and not an intermediary:

  • with regard to the amounts of VAT due on importation, the foreign publisher must declare them by means of his declaration of turnover under the conditions of common law. These amounts of VAT will also be deducted simultaneously on the same declaration of turnover insofar as these imports are carried out with the aim of carrying out operations giving rise to the right to deduct, namely the VAD-BI of the magazines to the subscribers;
  • the relocation to France of VAD-BI of journals to subscribers carried out by the foreign publisher in accordance with V of article 258 of the CGI ( II § 60 of BOI-TVA-CHAMP-20-20-30 ). The foreign publisher will therefore have to declare and pay the VAT due on these operations, either by means of his declaration of turnover, or via the one-stop shop of article 298 sexdecies H of the CGI (IOSS) if it is there. has joined (for more details on the declarative and payment facilities offered by the IOSS, please refer to BOI-TVA-DECLA-20-20-60 ).

By doing so, the option for the IOSS one-stop shop of CGI article 298 sexdecies H is open to the foreign publisher.

(290-297)

298

Finally, in the case of goods with an intrinsic value of less than €150, it is recalled that the taxable person who facilitates, through the use of an electronic interface such as a market place, a platform, a portal or a similar device, VAD-BI within the meaning of a of 2° of V of article 256 of the CGI ( II § 90 to 190 of BOI-TVA-CHAMP-10- 10-40-60 ). In this situation, the special regime provided for in article 298 sexdecies I of the CGI does not apply.

C. Importation into the departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and La Réunion of periodical publications

1. Periodicals published and printed abroad

300

The methods of taxation are the same as for imports into mainland France, VAT being collected at the rates specific to these departments and specified in V § 210 .

2. Periodicals published and printed in metropolitan France

has. Periodical publications imported by press couriers

310

Since the VAT relating to single-issue sales of these periodicals is payable by metropolitan publishers, the tax will not be required on importation.

b. Other import modes

320

Periodical publications otherwise imported (notably by subscription) are subject to VAT at their own rate upon importation. These provisions also apply to publications published and printed in one of these overseas departments and imported into mainland France or the two other departments, subject, for relations between Guadeloupe and Martinique, to the application of provisions of article 294 of the CGI .

330

For more details on periodical publications imported in the context of distance sales to persons not subject to or benefiting from the derogatory regime for the taxation of intra-Community acquisitions (PBRD) defined in II-B § 350 to 400 of the BOI-VAT- CHAMP-10-10-40-20 , reference should be made to II and III § 50 to 80 of BOI-TVA-GEO-20-40 .

Source: gouv.fr

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