Capital gains, capital losses: changes for 2016
(Only for French residents)
France’s new tax rules
Income tax rules have undergone slight changes in terms of the provisions applicable to capital losses. According to the previous rule for determining total taxable income, which came into force on January 1st, 2013, abatements applicable to capital gains (according to the duration for which investments were held) also needed to be applied to capital losses, before they could be offset against capital gains. This rule was amended by the Conseil d’État decree of November 12, 2015: capital losses are now offset against capital gains without an abatement first being applied.
To determine the taxable amount, when shares are sold resulting in capital gains or losses, the abatement relating to the duration for which stock is held is now applied based on the balance calculated using the new method. In the event that several capital gains are made over various periods of time, thus resulting in different abatement rates, capital losses can be offset against the various capital gains at the taxpayer’s discretion.
A taxpayer makes a capital gain of €300 from shares held for 4 years and a capital loss of €100 from shares purchased 10 years ago. His net gain is €200 and the abatement applicable to the gain is 50% (shares bought 4 years ago).
He will therefore be taxed on a gain of €100.
A taxpayer makes several capital gains, totalling €1,200 and broken down as follows:
> €300 with no abatement (shares held for less than 2 years) ;
> €500 with an abatement of 50% (shares held for between 2 and 8 years) ;
>€400 with an abatement of 65% (shares held at least 8 years).
The individual also posted a capital loss of €700.
The taxpayer is free to offset his capital losses against the capital gains of his choice, the priority being to do so against the capital gains with the lowest abatement rate. The €700 of capital losses can be allocated as follows:
> €300 - €300 = 0 ;
> €500 - €400 = €100 with an abatement of 50%.
Amount to declare: €50 ;
> €400 - €0 = €400 with an abatement
of 65%. Amount to declare: €140.
The taxable capital gains will therefore be €190.
THE ECKERT ACT
As an account keeper, Air Liquide informs its directly registered shareholders of the entry into force of the French Eckert Act on January 1st, 2016. The act provides for new obligations with which account keepers must comply in relation to inactive share accounts*:
• they must inform all shareholders about the provisions of the act;
• they must search for holders of inactive accounts;
• in the event that an account has been identified as inactive, the account keeper must inform the account holder in question of the impact the act’s application will have on their holdings in the event that they do not manifest themselves;
• in the event that the account remains inactive, they must sell the shares and pay the proceeds to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, within the timeframe specified by the law**.
* An account is recognized as being inactive if, after a period of 5 years, no transactions have been performed on the account, excluding dividend payments, and if its holder has not made contact with the account keeper. In the event of the account holder’s death, the account is considered inactive after a period of 12 months following his passing if none of his successors have manifested themselves.
** After 10 years of inactivity or 3 years after the account holder’s death.