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Are Premium Bonds taxable?

While Premium Bond Winnings are tax free in the UK, they are taxable in France so need to be declared as such.

In the tax year ending December 2007, I have taken early retirement and receive a pension annuity for the first time; plus I have earned UK bank interest and a small amount of winnings on the Premium Bonds.
From your article in the April 2008 edition, I realize that this annuity must be declared gross on the Form 2047; bank interest to be declared net (including PB winnings).
I have a couple of questions.
Firstly, should the declaration be in pounds sterling or euros? As I allow the pension and bank interest etc to build up in my UK bank account and then move it to France in one lump per year, at what exchange rate should I use for calculating the Euro amount?
Secondly, as I have already paid tax at source on the annuities and bank interest, and Premium Bond winnings are free of tax in the UK, in what circumstances, if any, would the French tax authorities " double tax" on these amounts.

As a French fiscal resident, you need to ensure that your obligation to declare worldwide income is met, this meaning that all income that is earned, irrespective of the country in which it is earned or paid from, has to be declared in France.

As the declaration is to be done in France, all income has to be converted into euros - if not actually received in euros - and at the average exchange rate for the year which, for 2007 was €1,46207 to the pound.

You may like to know that pensions can be paid directly into France from the UK simply by providing your French bank account details (the RIB) to your pension providers.

While it is true that this means you will loose control of the exchange rate used to convert your UK pension into euros, one benefit is that French banks will usually not make any charge for receiving regular pension payments into a French bank account.

Likewise, as a new French fiscal resident, you should complete certain forms, which process will ensure that your UK pensions and pension annuities are eventually paid gross, that is to say without the deduction of income tax.

With regards to UK bank interest, if this is received net of tax you can either declare the net interest and have this assessed here in France, or then you can declare to the French the gross interest once you have claimed the UK tax deducted back from the UK.

While Premium Bond Winnings are tax free in the UK, they are taxable in France as if they were dividend income, so need to be declared as such.

Otherwise I would refer you to the guide in the last issue or perhaps being the first year that you are having to complete a tax return, and establish fiscal residency here.

Perhaps you might be better advised to see a professional who will be able to deal with these issues more succinctly than is possible in these lines.

If you missed the April edition, the helpsheet is available from the site by clicking here, priced €5.

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