CLASSIC Procedures

We get involved in each and every step of the auditing and tax litigation process. We know how to anticipate and manage each kind of technical and strategic aspect while staying approachable and comprehensive for each of our clients.

Our firm provides its expertise at four key moments:


  • Before the tax inspection
  • During the tax inspection
  • During the procedure of taxation
  • During the tax litigation


Our firm can provide its opinion onto all the problems which can be identified by the tax authorities. This mock tax audit, like a real fiscal inspection, can be applied to a company or an individual. He allows to pinpoint any sensitive issues.


By anticipating the questions of the tax authorities, we optimize the chances to answer it positively.
Before any tax inspection, researches can be necessary with banks, customers, suppliers or any third party.  They can be time consuming, specially if international activities are concerned. Any company or individual expecting  to face an inspection, would certainly benefit from an early consultation, allowing to prepare all the useful explanations for a serene control.



We provide two types of assistance during a tax inspection:

  • direct intervention with the auditors during the inspection process;
  • shadow advisors to assist the certified accountant, the company director, or the individual who then takes the lead as the front person.

We must organize the situation, which means:

  • to anticipate any questions that might be asked by the auditor during the adversarial proceedings;
  • to explain in detail the business activities as well as the operation carried out, their economic principles and motivations;
  • to concretely justify accounting records or the source of credits amount on the bank accounts (in cases of ESFP or individual tax audit).

This approach  allows to reach the aimed result: the tax audit closeout in concluding that no tax adjustment is necessary.


If the inspector has not been satisfied by the produced explanations, the tax control might be concluded with a ” proposal of rectification “. This act summarizes the reasons for the dispute being given in fact and in law and specifies the amount of additional tax demands and penalties, which are not still due. It establishes the base of the adversarial proceedings taking place with the administration.

The scope of the procedure of taxation: the State must convince, not enforce*.
Following the proposal of rectification, we draft  a reasoned reply  which must imperatively be submitted to the department within thirty days with another 30 day extension in case of contradictory procedure, failing which it entails its tacit acceptance with quite often a reversal of the burden of proof.

*Statement regarding tax audits, Olivier Fouquet, President of the Finance Section of the French Council of State, “Lamy Contrôle fiscal et contentieux”.

The experience of strategic approach concerning the tax audit and litigation.
We must establish a strategy rather quickly: either a swift agreement with the tax authority, or a litigation before the court. The proposed approach is  the result of a long experience and an in-depth consideration. We clarify and discuss the consequences of the proposed strategy with our customers.

On one hand, a settlement entails the definitive renunciation of any subsequent litigation; this irreversibility establishes a major inconvenience if the jurisprudence later evolves in the taxpayer’s favor. On the other hand, a litigation supposes to assume an often long and uncertain procedure. When the litigation is confirmed, it involves selecting the most appropriate appeal procedures on the tactical level.

To listen, to support and to exchange
To optimize our clients’ interests defense, we must listen to fully understand the nature of their business and the relevant sector as well as their personality, and their family, professional and patrimonial environment. We must also understand tax authorities’ logic in order to fully distinguish and anticipate their expectations.

Ultimately, we are “interpreters” between two worlds which often have a hard time understanding each other. This leads us to be much closer to our client, to help them manage this crisis and to reassure them with the solutions we can provide.


The pre-litigation starts immediately after the decision to tax (notice of assessment). The attorneys then draft a ” preliminary claim” in which they develop their legal arguments. The administration then adjudicates this claim: decision of admittance or rejection.

The attorneys can address this decision within two months by introducing an appeal and a written submission to the respective court.

This appeal marks the opening of the base litigation itself. Simple in its form, the procedure of tax litigation is however very technical in its contents and requires a big experience on behalf of the attorneys: for example, several years after the first pleading, the administration can modify at any time the legal basis of the tax assessment and justify its position by totally new legal arguments. This contingency, very unfavorable for the taxpayer must be anticipated.

A recovery litigation procedure can be necessary in case of payment difficulties of the impositions (these being immediately due after the notice of assessment) or in case  of inability to submit guarantees of the recovery to obtain payment deferments.

Rigor and determination to win
During this entire phase, which may last several years, we systematically and tirelessly review all the elements of the case and analyze them again before drafting every new written submission, which allows us to improve our argument over time.

Of course, we research all the legal sources which may be relevant to our position and which are in constant evolution: international agreements, European directives, laws, jurisprudences, etc. We address this work with our client in mind and prioritize open communication with its representatives: it often allows us to call upon facts that could have been previously disregarded and therefore create new legal arguments.

Full rigor and determination are the key to win this long-distance race.

To convince the authorities before the hearing or to enlighten the magistrate
In case of unfavorable ruling for the taxpayer, the appeal is not suspensive of the payment. We therefore always seek to win the case with the authorities before the court order.

If the authorities reject our arguments, we must therefore convince the judge. We seek to facilitate the magistrate’s work by concentrating on and simplifying the essential points of a case. Within this style effect approach, we have to permanently find the right balance between “too simple” and “too complex”: ” what is simple is always false, what is complex is unusable “!

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