Last week The Telegraph speculated that the French Presidential elections could spell bad news for British expats who plan on bequeathing property in their will.
France is incredibly popular with British expats both for its proximity and its competitive cost of living. However, the country has greater national debt that the UK and the Government has come under attack for their lacklustre attempts to help the Eurozone crisis.
When a new Government comes into power in May, itís likely that taxes will be under close examination. Increases in French Succession taxes could make buying a holiday home an ill-advised investment.
In the UK inheritance tax is charged by estate but French Succession tax is calculated by beneficiary. Local National Laws currently apply to those who inherit in France but itís not a straightforward calculation, the tax can vary from 0-60% depending on a number of factors.
But thereís not just inheritance tax to consider. In 2011 President Sarkozy planned to introduce a tax on holiday homes that were rented for part of the year. But the plans were stopped by the Council of Ministers who felt that the idea might lose his party, the UMP, votes.
The first rount of the French elections were held on 22nd April with President Sarkozy coming an embarassing 2nd position behind Francois Hollande. The run off elections are scheduled for May.