Income tax returns

Income Tax Returns

When making your tax returns do not omit to declare all bank/financial accounts held outside France.

Reminder of obligations

Individuals (especially those) domiciled in France for tax purposes are required to declare all bank/financial accounts opened, used or closed during the year concerning the declaration. The tax authorities specify that if the person declaring has made at least one credit or debit transaction on the account in the year, the account is considered as used.

For all declarations from 2019, inactive or dormant accounts must also be declared.

The bank accounts should be declared on the printed form 3916 or listed on a separate sheet as long as this includes all the declaration headings.

Person declaring

In principle, there is only one person declaring: the account holder or the person with a power of attorney over the account.

There are two people declaring when:

  • the spouses are joint account holders
  • one is the account holder, the other has a power of attorney
  • where both spouses have a power of attorney on the accont

The person declaring must indicate whether he/she is acting in the name of and for the account of a member of his/her tax household or a person attached to his/her tax household or in his/her capacity as a legal representative (guardian, mandate holder, etc.).

Penalties

In absence of a declaration, there can be heavy consequences for the tax payer:

  • a fine of 1500€ for each account not declared (this can be increased to 10,000€ if the account is held in an State or territory which has not signed an administrative assistance convention with France allowing access to banking information, in order to assist against fraud and tax evasion).
  • the risk that the amounts shown in these accounts may be included in taxable incomes ( carrying a fine of up to 80% of the sums not declared).
  • the recovery period for the tax authorities has been extended to 10 years (which can be reduced to 3 years under certain conditions)

Andrew H.