French Real Tax planning
French and U.S. Income Tax Returns
French and U.S. Estate Planning

French Real Estate Transactions
International Compensation Planning

French Labor Law Issues
Creating a Business or Non-Profit
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Visas and Work Permits

French Real Estate Transactions

An American planning to purchase a residence in France, either as a primary or secondary residence, is faced with rules and restrictions unknown in the States. The transaction is overseen and completed by a French Notaire, but unless you are aware of the potential pitfalls, you are at a disadvantage and may suffer unforeseen financial and legal problems. Aside from working with on-site international lawyers specializing in this area, we help you to understand the process and what needs to be done to realize your purchase in the best way possible—legally and tax-wise. We advise on and create the most appropriate structure for your property holding, taking estate planning considerations into account, including forced heirship, as well as income tax, wealth tax, gift tax and estate tax considerations.

We will guide you through all steps of the purchase process, including:

  • Explain the purchase process and all of its component steps. 
  • Explain the tax implications of owning property or renting property in France.
  • Set up holding company structures for ownership of French real estate and U.S. real estate.
  • If requested, we will assist in negotiating the final price.  
  • Negotiate the purchase and sale agreement (“promesse de vente” also known as the “compromis de vente”). These steps are crucial, as they determine the elements of the deal and are often irreversible.
  • We review all documents and negotiate issues as and when they arise.
  • We advise on the tax consequences of renting furnished or unfurnished.
  • We take on all information reporting of ownership, including avoidance of the 3% annual tax on the value of the property, on reporting rental income, etc.

Selling A French Residence

  • We begin with a comparison of U.S. and French capital gain rules for residents and non-residents. 
  • We advise on how to minimize capital gains tax. We work with the fiscal representative in achieving this goal.
  • We advise on the special rule concerning the sale of one’s principal residence.  This may take into account a determination of whether you are a French resident for tax purposes.
  • We explain the tax rules affecting non-resident sellers, including sales through a legal entity, such as an SCI, S-Corp, LLC, and the like.  
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