Non-resident French property owners selling their homes are facing an “illegal” Social Charge, but one expert says this may not be the case for much longer.
David Anderson, Solicitor Advocate, Chartered tax adviser and barrister (unregistered) at Sykes Anderson Perry Limited, Solicitors and Chartered Tax Advisers tells owners to write to their notaire asking for a refund if they had paid the 15 per cent charge.
His comments arrive as a European court case continues investigating the legality of the tax. The Advocate General gave his opinion 0n 21st October 2014, which is that France has acted illegally in making this charge on non-residents.
Anderson explains: “It seems very likely the European Court when it makes its final decision shortly (before end 2014) will take this view. This should open the way for UK and other non-French sellers resident in the EU to claim back the social charge from the French Fisc.”
“UK residents who have in the past couple of years sold French property have been forced to pay French social charges at the rate of 15% on their gain, with some taper relief,” continues Anderson. “These social charges have in many cases been more than the French capital Gains Tax and have been deducted by the notaire on completion. The French social charge cannot be deducted against UK capital gains tax (because it is not a “tax”) and so is a real and unwelcome cost for UK sellers.”
Alpine property specialists, Erna Low Property reassures international owners of French property that there is no cause for concern.
“It is now apparent that non-French tax residents will benefit from their non French residency and will avoid this tax very shortly,” comments the agent.
Source: The Movechannel