ANNOUNCEMENT 18 Mar 2016In March 2016, the government of France announced a targeted tax change.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Letter from the EC to France, 18.03.2016 (SA.43130) (in French)
Initial letter from the EC to France, 22.03.2006 (in French)
On 18 March 2016, the European Commission approved the amendment of a tax credit scheme for French films and audiovisual works, initially introduced in 2006.
The scheme had previously been prolonged six times (cf. Related Measures). The changes included a raised tax credit ceiling for films from 4 to 30 million EUR. Also, the aid intensity cap for fictional audiovisual works was raised from 14 to 25%. The amendment led to an increase of the annual budget for films by 50 million EUR and for audiovisual works by 38 million EUR.
Regarding the asssessment of the amendment, the EC states that "The notified amendments do not affect the compatibility analysis of aid made in previous decisions, in particular concerning the general legality principle, cultural criterion, conditions for regionalization and the aid intensity" (own translation). In its initial assessment of the scheme, the Commission did mention though that "The notified support measures are granted to a specific economic sector and only to companies that have the aforementioned characteristics. This selectivity of the measures in question has the consequence that they distort or threaten to distort competition" (own translation).
The amended scheme will apply until 31 December 2022.
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.