• Service: Tax, Financial Services
  • Industry: Financial Services, Banking
  • Type: Newsletters
  • Date: 4/10/2013


Sébastien Labbé


Tel. +352 22 51 51 - 5565


Claude Poncelet


Tel. +352 22 51 51 - 5567


Olivier Schneider


Tel. +352 22 51 51 - 5504


Michèle Kimmel


Tel. +352 22 51 51 - 5500

Aberdeen e-alert - Issue 2013-06 

April 2013

France abolishes time limitation period extension for EU claims


France amends its legislation regarding applicable time limitation period


French tax law provides for an ordinary time limitation period of three years, starting as from 1 January of the year following the year in which the withholding tax has been paid.


An extension was however possible in case a court ruling unveiled an incompatibility of French law with a higher rule of law. For instance, the European Court of Justice’s decision in the Santander Case of May 2012 allows claimants to file claims up until 31 December 2014, requesting a refund of withholding tax paid as early as 1 January 2009.


Following the adoption of the Third Amended Finance Act - applicable as of 1 January 2013 (i.e. decisions unveiling such incompatibility rendered as from that date) - the above extension has been abolished. Therefore, the normal claim period of three years should be respected regardless of any decision stating that French law is incompatible with a higher rule of law, so that rapid action may be required after such decision in order to safeguard any claim possibilities.


Please note that this amendment should not have any consequences on the viability of the claims filed on the basis of the Aberdeen and Santander decisions. The Santander decision having been rendered by the European Court of Justice in May 2012, it should not fall within the scope of this new legislative amendment and investment funds wishing to recover unduly levied French withholding tax may still file claims until 31 December 2014 for dividends paid as of 1 January 2009.


However, such extended time limitation period (i.e starting as of 1 January of the third year preceding and until 31 December of the second year following that on which the decision unveiling the incompatibility of French law with EU law was rendered) should no longer be applicable, for any CJEU decisions rendered as of 1 January 2013 that would conclude the non-compatibility of French law with EU law.


For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.








The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.



Share this

Get in touch with KPMG