The transfer of funds as a gift from one individual to another is treated under the laws of inheritance and in France it is the beneficiary who must declare the gift.
As with inheritance tax, taxation increases heavily, the more distant the relationship between the two people is.
Current allowances (renewable every 15 years) and tax rates are most favourable where the gift is to your child, where there is an allowance of €100,000, then taxation in bands from 5-20%, then higher after €552,324 of taxable income.
They are least favourable where the gift is to someone who is not a close relative: an allowance of €1,594 and then taxation at 60%.
There is an additional abatement of €159,325 for disabled people.
Find out more on tax rates and abatements here: tinyurl.com/y2g3854v.
There is no exception for gifts from someone in the UK because there is no UK/France tax treaty on gifts.
In theory, all money gifts should be declared to the tax office (for forms, see tinyurl.com/y5h9xylg).
Payment should be made at the same time but for amounts over €15,000 you can opt to pay only after the giver has died.
There is an exception where money is given on a special occasion, such as a birthday, and is of a “reasonable” amount given the donor’s means, and also an exception for up to €31,865 every 15 years for money given by an adult under 80 to adult children or (great) grandchildren, or if none, nephews and nieces.
However, in the latter case the gift should still be declared (form 2735).
Reader's query answered by Hugh MacDonald
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