French Inheritance tax

The rules governing the taxation of donations and inheritances in relation to France can often appear complex. We have therefore prepared this short summary for the sake of overall understanding. We hope that it will encourage you to consult a specialist advisor to help you with your estate planning.

Your own succession is something you want to take care of as soon as possible, in particular whilst you are still in good health. There are substantial fiscal, legal and economic risks involved if your succession planning has not been handled properly.

Our RSM tax experts support you in handling your succession and make certain that the requirements are fully met. The in-depth professional knowledge of our experts allows them to develop a succession plan that takes all fiscal, legal and economic consequences into account and grants you the planning assurance you need.

As part of the international RSM Private Client Services group, we network with RSM inheritance tax experts from many countries. Thus, we are able to provide our services to clients deeply involved in international situations, for whom different national tax regimes require an excellent exchange between the national tax advisors.

Inheritance tax implications for French and non-French residents

What is taxed under french inheritance Tax Law ?

The French tax code determines the inheritance tax liability as follows:

  • If the deceased is a French tax resident: on their worldwide estate
  • If the deceased or the heir are non-French tax resident for the past 6 years: only on the assets located in France
  • If the deceased or the heir is a French tax resident for at least 6 years over the last 10 years: on their worldwide estate

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A guide to Inheritance Tax assessment, valuation, trust and foundations

Assessment and valuation

  • For movable assets: you can ask a notary or an auctioneer to draft an inventory. Otherwise, it is fixed at a rate of 5% on the total assets.
  • For real estate: market value based on real estate value data base created by the French tax administration (PATRIM) and on the valuation of a real estate agent
  • For a company: expert valuation

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Your Inheritance Tax-free allowance and how it is calculated

Tax-free amounts French IHT allowance

Inheritance Tax Free allowance

It depends on degree of kinship with the deceased.

The free amount is for the donor, per recipient, every 15 years.

  • Spouses or PACS (Civil) partner: no tax
  • Children and parents: € 100 000
  • Brothers and sisters: € 15 932
  • Nephews and nieces: € 7 967
  • Other beneficiaries: € 1 594

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