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Sylvie

Question:

Hi, I am thinking of returning to France with my english partner, and I am looking to pay as little tax and social charges as possible on our investements. Assurance Vie seems to be a good option. What are the detailled social charges for an Assurance Vie investment?
Thanks, Sylvie

by Sylvie on 19 Nov 2013
Des Cooney

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Answer:

Dear Sylvie,

Thank you for your question.

Assurance Vie products are structured as tax efficient savings vehicles for medium to long term investment. Investors living in France can benefit from capital gains and income tax concessions should they invest in an Assurance Vie policy.

French tax rules allow you to open an assurance vie in any EU country and still obtain the same tax benefits, as long as the insurance company and individual make the appropriate declarations in France. As such, policies based in Ireland and Luxembourg that meet the French tax requirements are also suitable for French residents / expats. Such policies tend to offer much more flexible investment options than their French Assurance Vie counterparts.

Taxation on maturity / withdrawals / surrenders

The tax treatment of Assurance Vie products is as follows:

There is an annual tax free allowance for withdrawals from policies after an 8 year investment term. This currently amounts to €4,600 for a single person and €9,200 for a couple.

Tax payable on withdrawals may be deducted at source by the insurer before any payout, or alternatively declared as a gain in your annual income tax return.

If you opt for deduction at source, the following tax rates are levied on any gains:

Gains realized in 1 - 4 years 50.5% (35% income tax and 15.5% social tax).
Gains realized in 5 - 8 years 30.5% (15% income tax and 15.5% social tax).
Gains realized after 8 years - withdrawals are tax free if the 'gain' is no more than € 9200 per annum, Any additional 'gain' is taxed at a maximum rate of 7.5% (plus 15.5% social tax).
If you opt to declare your gains from your policy on your annual income tax return in France, you pay tax on them at your highest applicable rate. The social taxes are also levied.

Please feel free to contact me direct for a more informed opinion.

Regards
Des

by Des Cooney on 21 Nov 2013

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