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Reclaiming French Tax Agent’s Fees

French government had about 8 accountancy firms covering whole of France who took 1% of each sale to work out the French Capital Gains Tax!.  It was a very cosy relationship with government people and fees were extortionate. The EU declared whole thing illegal in around 2011 but was only stopped on 1st January 2015. The French government now telling people their claims are time barred.

by David Anderson of Sykes Anderson Perry Limited answers questions about reclaiming French Tax Agents fees paid by UK sellers of French property.

Please note that French law is a complex subject and you should not rely on this article without professional advice on the facts of your case.

Am I affected

UK and other EU residents who completed a sale of a French property between 1st January 2014 and 31st December 2014 may be able to reclaim fees paid to French tax agents.

What can I reclaim?

French tax agents (fiscal representative) fees which you paid on the sale. These were typically 1% of the sale price. The notaire usually appointed the tax agent often without telling you.

What are tax agents?

Tax agents are a small number of private accountancy firms who have special approval from the French government to work out non-residents French capital gains tax on sale and assist the notaire in deducting it on completion. Before 1st January 2015 they had to be appointed in most sales.

Why can I reclaim their fees?

On 1st January 2015 the French government accepted the requirement for EU residents to appoint a French tax agent was illegal under EU law and abolished the requirement. The French government has recently started reimbursing these fees. Sykes Anderson Perry has been involved in successfully recovering these fees for many UK sellers.

Do I get the fees paid back from the French government rather than the individual accountants?

Yes.

Can I get fees back if I completed before 1st January 2014?

This is unclear as the French rules on prescription (time barring claim) may apply. It is likely the French government will oppose this and you will have to go to court. We are seeking clarification on this.

How can Sykes Anderson Perry help me?

We will deal with your claim for sales during 2014 on a no win no fee basis. Claims for sales before this date will be appraised on a case by case basis.

David Anderson david.anderson@saplaw.co.uk

Sykes Anderson Perry Limited   www.saplaw.co.uk    + 44 203 794 5959

 

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