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Lexique

WEALTH TAX - FRENCH TAXATION


Wealth tax (impôt de solidarité sur la fortune, ISF) is an annual tax chargeable to individuals with respect to the holding of their property when the net value of their property exceeds a certain amount. It was introduced in 1989. In 2003, the revenue from wealth tax amounted to € 2.32 billion. The expected revenue for 2004 is € 2.239 billion. TAXABLE PERSONS Individuals resident in France or who own therein property, and whose property's net value exceeds € 720 000 (the limit applicable in 2001) on 1st January of the taxation year are subject to wealth tax. Persons resident in France are taxable on property owned in and outside France. Persons resident outside France within the meaning of French domestic law are only taxed on property situated in France. The tax is assessed by household which consists of spouses or persons living under a common-law marriage and any under-age children the property of whom either parent has the guardianship. Partners bound by a PACS as of 1 January of the taxation year are subject to a joint taxation. ASSESSMENT BASIS The assessment basis includes all property, rights and securities forming the property of taxable persons on 1st January of the taxation year (developed or undeveloped land (immeubles bâtis ou non bâtis), sole proprietorships, farming businesses, furniture, financial investments, cars, aircraft, yachts, etc.). However, certain assets are fully or partly exempt, i.e. mainly business assets : sole proprietorships effectively managed by the taxpayer and interest ≥ 25 % held by the managers, corporate rights for which a promise of keeping was taken, small or middle companies corporate rights received in exchange of some contributions, of literary and artistic copyrights, certain rural assets, antiques, artworks and collection items. Moreover, the financial investments of persons not resident in France for tax purposes are expressly tax exempt. The following categories are not considered as financial investments and are therefore taxable : • securities in companies whose assets consist substantially of real property, i.e. shares in an unlisted company or corporate body the assets of which consist primarily of real property or real property rights situated within France, in proportion to the value of such assets compared with the company's total assets; • holding interests representing at least 10 % of the capital of a company. • Shares and corporate rights held directly or indirectly for more than 50 % by corporate bodies or organizations owning real property or real property rights situated in France. - As a general rule, taxable assets are valued according to the rules applicable to inheritance tax (normally, at market value). TAX SCALE The amount of tax is determined by applying a scale to the assessment basis. On 1st January 2003, this table is as follows : Fraction of taxable net value of property applicable rate % Up to € 720 000 ……………………………………………… 0 From € 720 001 to € 1 160 000 ……………………. 0.55 From € 1 160 001 to € 2 300 000 ……………………. 0.75 From € 2 300 001 to € 3 600 000 ……………………. 1 From € 3 600 001 to € 6 900 000 ……………………. 1.3 From € 6 900 001 to € 15 000 000 …………………... 1.65 Over € 15 000 000 ……………………………………………. 1.8 For taxpayers residents of France for tax purposes, a system of upper limit aims at capping the aggregation of wealth tax and income tax of the previous year to 85 % of the aggregate income. If this percentage is exceeded, the wealth tax is reduced by the excess. This decrease is however limited for taxpayers whose wealth exceeds € 2.3 million in 2003. Wealth tax is collected in view of a tax return, accompanied by the corresponding payment, filed on 15 June to the tax collecting office.
 
 
 




























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