The Obligation to Declare Accounts Held Abroad
The General Tax Code provides for an obligation to declare accounts held abroad for any French tax resident.
This obligation implies that every French taxpayer must declare each year at the time of the submission of his tax returns all his bank accounts, digital assets or assets opened, used or closed abroad.
Prior to 2019, this obligation only concerned bank accounts considered as “active”, i.e. with movements other than the simple collection of interest or the payment of management fees.
However, following the adoption in 2018 of the law on the fight against tax fraud, this obligation has been extended to so-called “inactive” accounts, i.e. those that do not show any movement.
This reporting obligation requires the completion of form 3916 for each account held by the reporting person.
There is only one exception to this principle. Thus, form 3916 does not have to be filled in if three conditions are met :
– The account is only used for online transactions related to sales of goods;
– The credit balance has never exceeded €10,000 during the year in question
– This bank account is linked to a bank account held in France.
For example, some Paypal accounts may meet these conditions.
For the declarant, the fine amounts to €1,500 per year and per undeclared account and can be increased to €10,000 if the bank account is held in an ETNC (uncooperative state or territory).
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