Energy taxation, also known as eco-taxation, is the taxation of polluting products and activities, with the aim of encouraging more environmentally-friendly practices. This ecological tax system applies to private individuals as well as to businesses, and requires optimal and secure management, to fully grasp the complexity of these regulations, which are hidden in customs law, in the environmental code, in the general code for local authorities and in the energy code... Cabinet Sion Avocat can help you to see things more clearly, in particular to understand all the acronyms such as TICGN, TICPE, CSPE or TICFE.
What is the purpose of energy taxation?
Energy taxation is therefore an environmental tax that has emerged against a backdrop of ecological crisis. In fact, the environmental footprint of human activities is constantly increasing, and resources are being over-exploited, particularly as a result of energy production. The aim of this tax system is to encourage the energy transition, for both individuals and businesses, by modifying behavior and consumption habits. In concrete terms, this involves taxes, fees or simply levies, which will inflate the price of polluting goods or services in order to counterbalance the "negative externalities", in other words the damage caused to the environment. The cost of the products or services concerned therefore rises accordingly, and energy taxation improves the competitiveness of more planet-friendly products and services, while at the same time enabling companies to demonstrate their social and environmental responsibility (SER).
Energy taxes in France
Many ecological taxes, also known as green taxes, are levied on polluting energies. Cabinet Sion Avocat deciphers them for you below.
Here are the various taxes on electricity:
- TICFE, "taxe intérieure sur la consommation finale d’électricité" in French, domestic tax on final electricity consumption. Also known as CSPE, "contribution au service public de l'électricité" in French (contribution to the public electricity service), this tax applies to both electricity suppliers and individuals or legal entities producing electricity for their own consumption.
- Departmental tax on final electricity consumption: same principle, but the rate is set by each department, independently of the TICFE.
- Local tax on final electricity consumption: same principle, but to fund local budgets
- CTA, or "contribution tarifaire d'acheminement" in French (transmission tariff contribution)
- And, of course, the well-known VAT (value-added tax).
Taxes on energy consumption
These taxes apply to "polluting products" and are listed below:
TICPE, "taxe intérieure de consommation sur les produits énergétiques" in French or domestic consumption tax on energy products. It replaces the TIPP, or domestic consumption tax on petroleum products, and concerns companies involved in the production, import and/or storage of fossil fuels used as motor fuel or heating fuel (coal, natural gas, fuel oil, diesel, gasoline). The rate depends on use, type of consumer (private or business) and place of consumption.
TICC, "taxe intérieure de consommation sur le charbon" in French or domestic consumption tax on coal, which applies to companies delivering coal, lignite, coals, etc., as well as to individuals who produce (or import) their own coal.
TICGN, "taxe intérieure de consommation sur le gaz naturel" in French or domestic consumption tax on natural gas, collected by suppliers from individuals and companies using natural gas as a fuel.
All these domestic consumption taxes (or TICs for short, for "taxes intérieures de consommation" in French) also include a CCE, i.e. a "contribution climat énergie", a kind of carbon tax to make carbon energies more expensive, and to limit GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.
Tax optimization of energy taxes
In fact, it is possible to obtain full or partial reimbursement of these various environmental taxes by benefiting from exemptions or reduced rates.
For example, for companies in the road transport sector, it will be possible to obtain a refund of the TICPE. For companies consuming large quantities of energy, a refund of the TICGN will be possible. Companies in the industrial sector will be able to obtain a refund of electricity taxes.
Of course, nothing is automatic, and there are formalities to declare to the customs authorities, as well as to your energy supplier, but it may be worth it to lighten your income statement of these charges.
So, if you're looking for a tax lawyer who's an expert in corporate eco-taxation, don't hesitate to contact Cabinet Sion Avocat, who can help you with all the administrative formalities involved in energy tax optimization, while respecting the law!