Accounting for exemptions from employer contributions

Employer contributions

Aid for employers linked to the health crisis is relatively numerous and it is not always easy to find your way around. Sometimes, the question of how to account for aid may arise.

Two solutions are available to companies that must account for this aid according to the ANC: to the credit of an account 645 or in an operating subsidy account (74). Account 791 is excluded for this mechanism for exemption from employer contributions resulting from the Social Security financing law for 2021.

Only the deferral of opportunities has no impact on the recognition of expenses.

They are called exceptional aid and exemptions, partial or total discounts or even clearance plan. The various systems put in place may relate to:

  • companies in the most affected business sectors;
  • companies that depend on these sectors and have suffered a sharp drop in turnover;
  • the other sectors which receive the public and whose activity has been interrupted;
  • and more broadly all sectors of activity for only partial discounts and clearance plans, generally on request.

Social charges: exemptions and payment assistance

Two systems coexist in terms of contributions and employer contributions. The current exemption system comes from the Social Security financing law for 2021. It is supplemented by a system to help with the payment of social security contributions.

The two devices are declared in DSN.

Exemptions from employer contributions concern companies and associations in the so-called S1, S1bis and S2 sectors (main activity). They apply to periods of employment from September 2020 as soon as the eligibility criteria (loss of turnover, ban on public reception, workforce, etc.) are met.

URSSAF contributions and unemployment insurance (Ple emploi) are thus concerned, but not supplementary pension contributions.

The payment aid, which corresponds to 20% of the social security contribution base, is used after charging all the exemptions that may apply.

Since July 9, 2021, the ANC recommends including the exemption credited to account 645 and payment assistance, among operating subsidies (account 74).

The operative event for this recognition may be either the date of filing of the DSN which shows these elements, or a prior date provided that the rights are acquired on that date.

Accounting for exemptions from employer contributions

This is the first method which makes it possible to uniformly process all aid and total or partial rebates of the employer’s contribution.

It consists of recording aid and remittances credited to the employer’s contribution account by debiting account 43. The balance of account 645 then corresponds to the amount of employer’s contribution actually due for the financial year.

Similarly, subject to the usual lettering differences, the balance of account 43 at the end of the period corresponds to the sums paid to URSSAF.

In an update of its recommendations dated July 9, 2021, it retains this solution (credit to account 645) for the exemption from employer contributions linked to the health crisis and provided for by the Social Security financing law for 2021.

Account 649 Reimbursement of personnel costs which appears in its plan to modernize the financial statements was not retained.


A company with less than 250 employees whose activity has been interrupted requests partial remission of the balance of contributions due (loss of more than 50% of turnover) and carried over during the 1st semester.

A letter from URSSAF informs her that she has obtained a discount of 10,000.





Employer contributions due to URSSAF


The surcharges and penalties for late payment which are subject to automatic remission in the context of the health crisis may, in our opinion, not be recognized (the debt is not certain).

Accounting for URSSAF payment assistance

This is what the ANC (Accounting Standards Authority) recommends in the latest update of its recommendations and observations for the annual accounts and situations established from January 1, 2020.

Thus, in its new response number J7, the ANC recommends the use of account 74 Operating subsidies as soon as the response is likely.

The counterpart account will be an account 43 until all the social security contributions have been paid. The possible complement, not imputable on the debt must be accounted for, still according to the ANC, to the debit of an account 4287 Personnel – Income to be received.

The balance of this account will be cleared over the following months, as and when a debt is observed in account 43 (by debiting this account).

If charging to account 43 becomes impossible, as the aid has not been reimbursed, account 4287 is closed by debiting account 74.

The accounting takes into account 791 transfers of charges

Some companies prefer, at least during the accounting year, to use an expense transfer account. This applies above all to reimbursements of social charges or the various transfers from the ASP (assisted contracts, etc.).

This charge transfer account seems to us to be less suitable for reductions in employer social security contributions declared via the DSN and automatically offset with the balance of employer contributions to be paid.

Beyond this aspect, the method complicates the monitoring of aid.

As a reminder, this method is not recommended by the ANC, neither for exemptions from charges and payment assistance, nor for partial activity. Sometimes considered difficult to read, it can become a garbage account that is difficult to interpret, especially when it comes to calculating turnover within the meaning of the CVAE.

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