Since 1st January 2014 submission of an electronic accounting entry file is compulsory at the beginning of a French tax audit according to article L 47 A I of the French procedural tax code (LPF).
This submission applies to tax audits notified starting 1st January 2014 and englobes all fiscal years from 2011 onwards.
Failure to comply with these new obligations could lead tax authorities to assess the taxable income on their own based on an alleged opposition to the tax audit process. In addition, penalties amounting to a fine of 5 000 € or a penalty of 10 % on the reassessed tax could be imposed according to the amended 2014 finance law.
Each file per fiscal year must include all single accounting entry lines, no centralization or aggregation is permitted.
The file must be saved in .txt, .csv or .xsd-format and remitted to the French tax authorities in electronic format. The tax inspectors have the right to check the consistency of the accounting entry file with all tax returns remitted.
French tax authorities recently specified that the file must comply with the Commercial code and the French general chart of accounting.
International groups, however, that keep their accounts following international standards (US GAAP, IFRS, …) are exceptionally allowed to submit for 2014 an accounting entry file conform to the French general chart of accounting generated by means of a line by line conversion of the Foreign GAAP into French GAAP.