New Caledonia

Corporate - Tax administration

Last reviewed - 16 April 2024

The tax authorities in New Caledonia comprise the following:

  • The Direction des Services Fiscaux (DSF), which is competent to collect and control direct taxes.
  • The customs authority or Direction Régionale des Douanes (DRD), which deals with customs duties and similar taxes.

Taxable period

The ordinary taxable period is equal to 12 months. Conformity with the calendar year is not requested. In particular cases, the duration of the taxable period can be different from 12 months (e.g. newly established companies are allowed to have taxable periods longer than 12 months).

Tax returns

Taxpayers must file a tax return within four months after the end of the fiscal year (i.e. by 30 of April). When the annual turnover of the previous fiscal year exceeded XPF 10 million, e-filing requirement applies.

Payment of tax

CIT is prepaid in two instalments that are payable by the end of the 7th and 11th months of the fiscal year. They are calculated based on 1/3 of CIT paid the previous tax year. The balance of CIT is due four months after the end of the financial year. Note that companies carrying out mining and metallurgical activities are required to make four advance payments.

E-payment requirements are applicable to companies with turnover exceeding XPF 10 million during the previous year.

E-reporting requirements will progressively enter into force, and all companies should be subject to this requirement by 1 January 2026.

Interest and penalties

Late payment is subject to late interest computed at a rate of 0.4% per month late (4.80% per year).

Late filing is subject to a fixed penalty of XPF 25,000 and to a 10% penalty.

Moreover, a penalty of 40% applies in case of bad faith and is increased to 80% in case of fraud.

Tax audit process

The New Caledonian tax authorities are responsible for verifying that taxpayers’ obligations are correctly complied with and, if necessary, for making adjustments by issuing tax assessments.

Once an assessment is notified by the tax inspector and if the taxpayer disagrees with such an assessment, the taxpayer has 30 days to answer and to provide comments to the New Caledonian tax authorities.

In cases where the disagreement between the New Caledonian tax authorities and the taxpayer still remains, the taxpayer can file a claim with the local courts.

New Caledonia has implemented criminal rules applicable to tax matters.

Regularisation processes, in some circumstances, are facilitated with application of lower penalties.

Abuse of law

To restore their true character, the New Caledonian tax authorities are entitled to disregard, as not being enforceable against it, acts that constitute an abuse of law (i) either because these acts are fictitious or (ii) because, by seeking to benefit from a literal application of the laws or decisions against the objectives sought by their authors, these acts could not have been inspired by any other purpose than avoiding or mitigating the tax burden that the party concerned would normally have borne, given its actual situation or activities, had these acts not been executed or committed.

Statute of limitations

For CIT, solidarity tax on services, tax on financial transactions, and TGC, the right of recovery of the tax administration is exercised until the end of the third year following the year for which the tax is due.

Topics of focus for tax authorities

PEs in New Caledonia, income deemed distributed to the head office, deduction for CIT purposes of head office expenses, and TGC are standard elements reviewed during tax audit.

The ruling system

When the taxpayer demonstrates that they applied a tax text according to the interpretation that the administration had made known through its instructions, circulars, or responses previously published in the Official Journal of New Caledonia, it cannot pursue any increase in taxes already established, by supporting a different interpretation. The same guarantee benefits to taxpayer, when they demonstrate that the interpretation of the tax text that is the subject of the dispute had, at the time, been formally accepted in an individual response sent to them following a request for written information, by certain tax service agents, provided that the response itself is, where applicable, in accordance with the instructions, circulars, and responses already published. This guarantee is applicable under the same conditions when the individual response relates to the assessment of a factual situation with regard to a tax text. The taxpayer can only rely on the answers that have been officially addressed to them and to the extent that the question has been asked precisely and completely.

In case of written request from a taxpayer, tax authorities must issue a response within six months. The lack of response from the tax authorities means their implicit agreement with the interpretation drafted by the taxpayer, provided that the request was submitted before the relevant activity or transaction takes place.