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In the final part of our series on Tax Changes we are looking at charitable donations, second homes and EU administration.

Charitable Donations & Bequests:

  • France exempts from inheritance duties donations and bequests made to certain charities that are registered in France. However, charities established in other States of the EU are generally subject to a 60% tax (after an allowance of €1,594) on the value of the gift or bequest received.
  • The European Commission considers the above to be an unjustified obstacle to the free movement of capital and so referred France to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in July 2014. Anticipating a condemnation by the ECJ to be almost inevitable, France has changed its law so that there is no discrimination between the charities registered in France and those in the rest of the EU/EEA.

Additional Tax on Second Homes:

  • With the objective of reducing the housing shortage in areas where there is a marked imbalance between supply and demand, provision has been made within the law for an additional tax on ‘second homes’, i.e. for furnished properties not designated as a principal residence.
  • The decision as to whether or not the tax will be applied will be made by the municipal council of the municipality concerned. The rate has been fixed as 20% of the municipality’s share of the taxe d’habitation and the revenue from the additional tax will be allocated to the municipality.

Tax relief should be given from the additional tax in the following situations:

  • by those who need a second dwelling near to their place of work because their principal residence is too far away; and
  • if the owner is living permanently in a nursing home or other care facility and the property was their former principal residence.
  • Others may also receive the tax relief where they can no longer designate the property as their principal residence for circumstances outside of their control.

EU Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the Field of Direct Taxation:
Although not directly related to France’s tax changes, it is worth mentioning that with effect from 1st January 2015, under the terms of the above EU Directive, there will be automatic exchange of information between the tax authorities of Member States for five additional categories of income and capital.

These include income from employment, director’s fees, life insurance products, pensions and ownership of and income from immoveable property. The Directive also provides for a possible extension of this list to dividends, capital gains and royalties.

This outline is provided for information purposes only. It does not constitute advice or a recommendation from The Spectrum IFA Group to take any particular action to mitigate the effects of any potential changes in French tax legislation.

If you would like to find out more about how these changes could affect you, we recommend speaking with your local Spectrum IFA Group adviser.

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