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France Delays Tax Filing Deadline On Trusts As Elections Hold Up Paperwork

Tom Burroughes

27 July 2012

The French tax authority has confirmed that the deadline for tax filings by trustees this year has been postponed to 15 September instead of the original 15 June date, due to a delay stemming from issues such as the recent French national elections, said the French tax team at accountancy practice PKF (Channel Islands) Limited.

These filing deadlines apply to trusts where there is either a French settlor or beneficiary – or both – or trusts holding French assets; the issue could  therefore  also affect non- French  resident settlors and beneficiaries, so the impact of such a development is potentially wide, it said.

Since the election of socialist President Francois Hollande – who vowed to enact a 75 per cent top tax rate on the super-wealthy – as well as impose higher taxes on foreign owners of second homes. The government has announced total tax hikes to collect €7.2 billion ($9.2 billion) as the country wrestles with a large budget deficit. Some commentators argue that the changes will spur an exodus of high net worth French citizens to countries such as the UK.

One of the obligations on trustees is to file an annual declaration of the fair market value of all the assets held within the trust as well as certain details of the trust.  The report must be filed with the centre for foreign enterprises, Baker & McKenzie, the global law firm, said in a separate briefing on the changes.

 “Unfortunately, there has been no further clarification as to the extent of trusts required to make a disclosure and whether employee benefits trusts will be exempt from such disclosure requirements,” it said.