Impact of the Tax Shift on the copyright tax regime

The draft law on the tax shift was adopted on 18 December 2015 by the House. As regards the income from movable assets, the Government took two measures: firstly, it standardised the rate of taxation and secondly, it increased the tax rate to 27%. There are nevertheless exceptions, in particular for revenue resulting from the transfer or surrender of copyright and related rights, as well as for revenue resulting from compulsory and legal licenses. In other words, copyright revenue remains subject to a separate tax rate of 15%. The tax is levied by means of the deduction of a withholding tax of 15% for incomes lower than EUR 37 500, that is EUR 57 270 for the fiscal period 2016 (income from 2015), and 25% above this amount. Finally, it should be emphasized that above EUR 57 270, the administration believes, without affecting the obligation of the withholding tax, that the income from copyright must be reclassified as professional income. This position is nevertheless incorrect as such a reclassification should come into effect only if the royalties are assigned by the recipient of the income to his or her professional activity, which is far from being automatic.