REFUND ON FEES
QBefore 1 January 2015 all non-French residents had to appoint a tax agent ( fiscal representative). A fee of just over 1% of the sale price was paid to the agent deducted from the sale proceeds by the notaire on completion. I believe this was found to be illegal under EU law for EU residents and the French government has started refunding these fees to sellers. I sold my property at the end of 2013 but I’m not sure if a tax agent was involved. Would I be eligible for a refund too? PATRICIA GOODALL
ATax 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 1 January 2015 they had to be appointed in most sales.
However, on 1 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 and we have been involved in successfully recovering these fees for many UK sellers.
People affected by this include British and other EU residents who completed a sale of a French property between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2014, and they may be able to reclaim fees paid to French tax agents.
If you are eligible, you will be able to reclaim French tax agents’ (fiscal representative) fees which you paid on the sale. These were typically 1% of the sale price and the notaire usually appointed the tax agent, often without telling you. This might explain why you’re not sure whether a tax agent was involved in the sale of your own property in France.
It is unclear whether or not those whose property sale was completed before 1 January 2014 will receive any fees back. 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 in order to pursue this. Our view is that you can go back and claim for any sales before 1 January 2014, however your claim must be lodged before 31 December 2018. Our view is that you should not delay and claims should be lodged immediately.