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What is the right to error in the face of administration?

Verified 10 September 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

The right to error allows fix error committed in a declaration to the administration without penalty.

Example :

You benefit from the Custom Self-Employment Allowance (APA) and forget to report the change in your employee. The right to error allows you to avoid suspending your allowance.

All administrations are concerned : State Service territorialbody responsible for a public administrative service task.

For example, Caf: titleContent, Pôle emploi, Health insurance,Urssaf: titleContent, Taxes .

The penalty avoided depends on the administrations.

This could include a financial penalty or the deprivation of a social benefit.

You must meet the following 3 conditions to benefit from the right to error:

  • Ignore a rule or make a mistake for 1mother time
  • Regulate your situation on your own initiative or at the request of the administration within the specified time
  • Being of good faith. It's up to the administration to determine if you're cheating.

Some errors are excluded from the right to error :

  • An error that cannot be corrected. For example, no or late reporting.
  • Error with criminal sanction
  • An error that is sanctioned by a contract
  • Gross error or gross negligence. For example, a false statement.
  • Violation of public health, the environment, the safety of persons or property
  • When obligations under an international convention are in conflict with them. For example, in matters of labour law.
  • Where the sanction is provided for by European Union law

In practice, how do you benefit from the right to error?

Contact the relevant administration on your own initiative to regularise your situation.

The administration can also contact you to ask you to regularise your situation. In this case, do so within the specified time.

Example :

You forgot to declare to Pôle emploi that you have resumed a professional activity. Contact Pôle emploi on your own initiative to update your situation. This avoids the wrong payment of allowances that you will have to repay later.


you can view the list of common errors on the site