Corporate - Income determination

Last reviewed - 07 February 2020

Inventory valuation

Inventory is valued at cost.

Capital gains

According to the provisions of article 11 of the Income and Corporate Tax Code, “the net income of a company is determined as the result of all the operations undertaken by the company, including mainly the transfer of assets…” Consequently, capital gains, if any, arising from the transfer of assets will be considered as taxable income and will be subject to CIT.

Capital gains are calculated as the difference between the sale price, which is supposed to be equal to the fair market value, and the net book value.

In the particular case of goodwill (fonds de commerce) generated internally, capital gains will be equal to the total sale price, as goodwill, other than derived from acquisitions, has no value on the books of the company.

All tangible and intangible transaction assets have to be valued at their fair market value.

The goodwill (fonds de commerce) generated internally, even if not booked as an asset of the company, also has to be valued at fair market value.

Particular case of capital gains resulting from mergers

Capital gains arising from the transfer of assets, other than inventories, on the occasion of a merger operation are deductible from the taxable income of the merged company and are to be added back to the taxable income of the absorbing company at up to 50% of their amount, spread out over five years.

Particular case of revalued fixed assets (legal revaluation regime)

The Finance Law 2019 instituted the legal revaluation regime applicable to industrial companies. According to such regime, industrial companies are authorised to revalue their fixed assets included in their balance sheets for the year ended 31 December 2019 and the following years. The said fixed assets exclude:

  • Buildings and lands.
  • Assets that benefited from the additional amortisation at the rate of 30% as provided by the tax incentives law.

In addition, the following assets cannot benefit from the legal revaluation regime:

  • Financial fixed assets.
  • Intangible assets (goodwill, trademarks, patents, etc.).
  • Assets other than fixed assets (inventories, trade receivables, investment securities, etc.).

The actual value of the revalued fixed assets cannot be greater than the value obtained by application at their cost/purchase price of revaluation indexes fixed by decree n°2019-971 of October 28, 2019.

Revaluation gain or loss

The revaluation gain is not subject to CIT provided that it is booked in a special equity account (special revaluation reserve) that is undistributable and unusable by any means during at least five years. Also, the revaluation loss is not tax deductible from the taxable income.

Any reallocation (capitalisation, distribution, etc.) makes the gain available and subject to CIT or tax on distribution for the reserves distributed directly.

Capital gain on the sale of the revaluated assets

The capital gain is not subject to CIT within the limit of the capital gain resulting from the revaluation of the sold asset. Also, the loss derived from the sale of the revalued assets is not tax deductible from the taxable income within the limit of the revaluation gain.

Deduction of additional depreciation post-revaluation

For assets subject to depreciation, accumulated depreciation deducted that is tax deductible is revalued by applying the same revaluation index applied to the historical cost of the corresponding fixed assets.

Particular case of capital gains realised further to the assets disposal for the purpose of renewal of assets assigned to operations

According to the Finance Law 2019, all the companies (except for those operating in the financial, energy other than renewable energy, mining, trade, on-time consumption industries, telecommunication operators, and real estate developers) could benefit from the deduction from their taxable income, up to a limit of 50%, of the capital gain derived from the disposal of tangible fixed assets allocated to the main activity, provided that such disposal occurs after five years from date of possession. Such provisions will apply for disposals performed between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2021, subject to the following conditions: 

  • Allocate the total amount of the capital gain to the acquisition of materials and equipment necessary for the operations.
  • The registration of the capital gain in a special reserve investment account on the liabilities side of the balance sheet before the filing CIT due date related to the year of benefit of the deduction.
  • The realisation of the investment and the incorporation of the reserve special reinvestment in the company's share capital (for legal entities) at the latest at the end of the second year following that of constitution of the reserve.
  • Non-reduction of the share capital (for legal entities) for a period of five years as of the date of incorporation of the special reserve into the share capital, except in the case of the capital reduction for loss absorption.
  • Attachment to the CIT return of the year of the capital gain deduction of a certificate of deposit of the investment declaration with the authorities concerned added to a commitment to realise the investment no later than at the expiry of the second year following that of constitution of the reserve.

Dividend income

Dividends distributed by Tunisian-resident companies to non-resident, non-establishment companies, to non-resident individuals, and to resident individuals are subject to CIT paid through a discharging WHT at the rate of 10% of its total amount.

Dividends distributed by non-resident companies are subject to tax in Tunisia, unless otherwise provided for by the DTTs concluded by Tunisia.

Interest income

Interest income arising from Tunisia or outside is part of the taxable results of the company, unless expressly exempt by the law (e.g. interests on deposits in foreign currencies).

Royalty income

Royalty income is part of the taxable results of the company.

Foreign income

Foreign income derived from services that are realised outside Tunisia are part of the taxable income (see the Tax credits and incentives section).