Preparing for an Urssaf inspection: the difficult issues

June 5th 2017

The URSAFF is encharged with controlling the companies’ application of the regulations relating to social security contributions (and certain others such as the contributions for unemployment insurance). An URSSAF inspection shall involve verifying whether the amounts and other benefits attributed by a company to its employees are subject to contributions and it shall verify the accurate calculations thereof. The anticipation of an URSSAF inspection requires knowledge of the issues subject to reassessment and the reasons for such reassessments.

The extent of an URSSAF inspection:

The reassessment auditors shall verify all the company’s accounts and not only the account number 64. They shall examine all the company’s documents, such as memoranda and shall reconcile all of the available data.

The key components of an URSSAF reassessment:

They vary depending on the region and therefore each URSAFF shall have different components, but they have common denominators.

1. The remuneration not subject to URSSAF contributions are subject to around 40% of reassessments: undeclared work represents about a third. The benefits-in-kind such as the provision of a vehicle shall constitute around 15%, often because a benefit-in-kind has not been re-assessed upon the change of vehicle. The benefits provided by the Works Councils (gift or holiday vouchers) in the context of their social and cultural activities represent around 10% of URSSAF re-assessments. Another 8% is reassessed for issues relating to gratuities and bonuses, especially advances to be paid back to the employer upon the employee’s departure or the remuneration of trainees.

The financing of pension and contingency funds shall give rise to around 7% of reassessments, on the grounds of their disputed collective nature. Albeit aware of the complexity of the system, the auditors recall that it is necessary to have all the supporting documents required to prove such collective nature. The extension of the obligation to fund a private health insurance for all companies shall undoubtedly result in more claims against the URSSAF.

Finally, 7% concern reassessments for the independent workers’ income, in particular that of
auto-entrepreneurs. The URSAFF shall verify that they have declared all their income, in particular by verifying their bank accounts. The absence of justification of the amounts in the account shall involve the reinsertion of the unjustified amounts into the turnover to determine the contribution threshold.

2. Derogatory measures for employment shall give rise to 27% of URSSAF re-assessments: the general streamlining of contributions, referred to as the Fillon mitigation is at the top of the list. A part of these
re-assessments results from the Official Reports drawn-up by the labor inspectorate for undeclared work subsequently resulting in the cancellation of the mitigation of social contributions.

3. The URSSAF also controls the ancillary contributions, which contribute for around 19% of
re-assessments. Contribution towards transport (48% of URSSAF re-assessments) constitutes a major source of difficulty for companies regarding cost assessment. The corporate rate (30%), CSG-CRDS (social taxation) (15%) are also frequent issues raised by the URSSAF.

4. The URSAFF often focuses on business expenses and unjustified deductions in around 14% of
re-assessments: flat-rate allowances and reimbursements of unjustified actual costs represent around one-half of these re-assessments claims, whereas the excess of exoneration thresholds (in particular, mileage allowance) are at the origin of around 37 %. Standardized deductions and transport allowances for the journey to and from work without any justification also constitute grounds that are frequently used by the URSSAF.

The URSSAF sometimes reimburses excess payments!

The Fillon mitigations, which are quite intricate, constitute the main reason in around 75% of such cases, and the other 25% mainly concerns the transport payments.

A major focus for the URSAFF is undeclared work, particularly when the company works with an auto-entrepreneur: ambiguous contractual nature, files that are not registered and working conditions that are too similar to that of salaried work often result in the URSSAF reinstating the amounts paid for the invoices issued by the officially independent workers into the calculation for the social contributions, which may also involve the URSSAF cancelling the mitigation of its contributions or initiating criminal proceedings.

The company plays a passive role in an URSAFF inspection. Therefore, it is advisable for companies to anticipate such reassessment issues beforehand.


Mireille Goutailler