You have received your Letter of Announcement (LoA) from the European Commission,
you will have to face a DG RTD financial audit of your research project(s).
If your National Tax Administration decides to carry out a tax control in your organisation, most likely you would ask for support from your accountant or your tax lawyer. Facing an audit from the European Commission and more particularly from the Research Family (DG RTD, DG CNECT, DG ENTR, DG MOVE, DG ENER, ERCEA, REA) should be considered as serious as a tax control.
It is strongly recommended to be supported in order to limit adjustments as much as possible.
Explaining the Environment
It is necessary for you to understand the European Commission’s situation & position as a whole (reason for these audits, internal processes and influences or political situation…) and your own situation (main issues of the costs declaration, administrative & scientific issues….) in order to be able to define the strategy for managing and preparing the audit. Consequences of an audit might be really serious.
Consultancy in the audit
EFMC may take charge of all your DG RTD audit management.
It is important to work on the content by explaining what kind of information is necessary to provide to the auditors. Moreover, it is important to understand the way of providing information and timing.
- some taxes are eligible, some others not;
- productive hours should be well explained to the auditor in order to avoid the full rejection of your personnel costs;
- subcontractors are eligible under specific conditions.
During an audit, the form is also very important and the non-respect of the procedure by the auditors of the European Commission may be an advantage for you.
At last, there are some recourses in case of disagreements with the European Commission: many levers are available to lower the adjustments. But these actions must take place quickly after the on the spot audit and up to the final audit report.