As always, the French parliament was very busy during December with its annual round of tax changes, although compared to previous years, there are only a small number of personal tax changes.
The income tax bands have been revised, including the elimination of the 5.5% tax band, which in theory should result in more people becoming non-taxpayers. However, due to the strength of Sterling against the Euro during 2014 (i.e. a gain of around 6% over the year), the reality is that many people reading this may actually end up paying more income tax in 2015. This makes it even more important to shelter investment capital and income to avoid paying unnecessary taxes.
There are no changes to wealth tax rates or to the capital gains tax rules for financial assets. Social contributions also remain at 15.5% for investment income and capital gains.
The rules relating to the taxation of capital gains from the sale of building land have been harmonised with those that apply to second properties. In addition, to further encourage the sale of building land, an exceptional reduction of 30% of the gain has been introduced, as well as some temporary exemptions from gift tax, in certain situations.
A more detailed summary of the tax changes can be found on our website at :
In addition to the French tax changes, there are many other things that are happening this year. This includes the UK Pension Reform and the introduction of the EU Succession Rules, which are both major issues.
There are also the general economic prospects for the year ahead to consider. For example, what will happen with interest rates? Will the central banks be able to implement adequate policies to counteract the continuing possibility of deflation? How will investment markets react to these issues, as well as to the elections in Greece and the UK?
Clearly, we have an ‘interesting’ year ahead and so now is a good time for people to seek advice, by having a review of their financial situation.
If you would like to discuss how the French tax changes may affect you, or you would like to have a confidential review of your financial situation, please contact me, John Lansley, by e-mail at :
The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees directly to clients for their time or for advice given, as can be seen from our Client Charter at
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