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Can dependent children open a French LEP account at 2.2% interest?

Tax-free LEP savings accounts now have an interest rate well above that offered by other accounts but not everyone can open one

The livret d’épargne populaire (LEP) is a regulated savings account which is not subject to tax or social charges, but which can only be accessed by people fulfilling certain criteria Pic: create jobs 51 / Shutterstock

Reader question: My husband and I both have livret d’épargne populaire savings accounts. Can our 18-year-old daughter open one as well?

The livret d’épargne populaire (LEP) is a regulated savings account which is not subject to tax or social charges, but which can only be accessed by people fulfilling certain criteria.

On February 1 the LEP interest rate rose to 2.2%, meaning that it is now more than double the 1% offered by the popular Livret A savings account which is also regulated and tax and social charge free.

Read more: France’s LEP tax-free savings account at 2.2% interest: Who qualifies?

It is correct that in order to open an LEP, a person must be an adult, so your daughter does fulfil the age criteria. 

However, the person must also no longer be part of their parents’ tax household (foyer fiscal), and thus not included on their tax returns. So, if your daughter is still living at home and dependent on you, she will not be eligible for an LEP. 

Another factor which makes her ineligible for an LEP is the fact that you and your husband both have accounts already. 

Government information page Service-public.fr states that: “Everyone has the right to open one LEP if they fulfil the household and income conditions. However, there cannot be more than two people in the same foyer fiscal with an LEP.

What other criteria must you fulfil?

To open an LEP, you must also be a tax resident of France and have no other existing LEP accounts. 

LEPs also have income thresholds for access. These are based on a person’s revenu fiscal de référence, a figure, roughly corresponding to net taxable income, which is used to determine whether a household is eligible for certain benefits.

The ceilings depend on the size of the family. 

For example, a single person living alone who wishes to open an LEP in 2022 would need to have a revenu fiscal de référence (as shown on their last avis d’imposition income tax statement) of less than €20,296. For a couple it is €31,135.

You must be able to prove your revenu fiscal de référence to the bank.

LEPs can be opened with as little as €30, and a maximum of €7,700 can be deposited. Interest payments do not go towards this total.

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