No Hiding Place From The French Taxman

05.11.14

Please note that this article is over six months old. While Blevins Franks takes care to make sure that information is accurate on the date of publication, some content may change over time. You should not rely on the accuracy of legislation and tax information in this article; take professional advice for your circumstances.

The French tax authorities have been successfully collecting tax from previously hidden offshore assets. They will now benefit from global automatic exchange of information.

The removal of the 5.5% income tax rate is expected to cost the government around €1 billion.  It can afford this thanks to its successful collection of tax from previously hidden offshore assets – the state collected £1 billion from tax evaders in 2013 and expects €1.8 billion in 2014.

Under a tougher Franco-Swiss tax accord, Switzerland will intensify cooperation with France and release more names and bank account details to the tax authorities.  Bloomberg reported in June that banks were combing through accounts to identify potential tax cheats.

France will also benefit from the international movement to full tax transparency.  Almost 70 countries have so far signed up to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) global Common Reporting Standard. It provides for annual automatic exchange of financial account information, including balances, interest, dividends and sales proceeds from financial assets, covering accounts held by individuals and entities.

Switzerland signed up in May, marking the end of its famed banking secrecy. In October the Swiss government said that it will begin negotiations with the EU and some other countries on automatically sharing data on bank accounts.  

It is essential to declare your worldwide assets on your French tax return.  Collecting unpaid tax and penalties is perhaps now the easiest way for the tax office to generate additional revenue.  

You need to take appropriate advice – and this does not necessarily mean from your Swiss bank if you have one.   For peace of mind for you and your family, please CLICK HERE to contact us to make an appointment to discuss effective tax efficient structures.

Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change.  Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change.  Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; individuals should seek personalised advice.

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