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France: New tax regime applicable to dividends and interests for French residents

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Isabelle Savier-Pluyette

As from January 1 2013, French and foreign source interest and dividend income (and similar income) received by French tax residents are subject to French personal income tax at progressive rates. The optional flat-rate withholding tax is thus abolished and replaced by a compulsory withholding tax (subject to a new tax filing obligation) corresponding in practice to an installment payment against the final tax to be paid. The tax return has to be filed with the payment of the withholding tax and the social surtaxes due (CSG/CRDS and other taxes amounting to 15.5%) within the first 15 days of the month following the one during which the income is received by the taxpayer.

The rate of this compulsory withholding tax is 21% for dividends and 24% for interest, excluding social surtaxes (CSG/CRDS and other taxes).

This new compulsory withholding tax also applies to share buy-backs (if taxable), loans to shareholders, directors' fees and other remunerations granted to board members or to a supervisory board of "sociétés anonymes", bonds income, deposit accounts income, fixed-term accounts income, non tax-exempt saving bank accounts income, and partners' current accounts income.

Tax filing and payment formalities are made by the payor (usually a bank or financial institution).

If the payor is located in a country that signed the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement, the taxpayer may either request the payor to complete these tax filing and payment obligations on their behalf, or do it themself. If the payor is located outside of the EEA, the taxpayer has to complete the tax filing and payment obligations himself.

Isabelle Savier-Pluyette (isabelle.savier-pluyette@fr.landwellglobal.com)

Landwell & Associés – member of the PwC network

Tel : +33 1 56 578631

Website: www.landwell.fr

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