Gifting a property in France

Gifting a property in France

It may be that you wish to make a gift of the whole or part of your French property. It is of critical importance to make arrangements through competent and experienced local Notaires for the legal requirements to be complied with in France.

Currently, there exists the possibility for persons owning a French property of making a gift of that property during their lifetime without becoming liable for French gifts tax, up to certain limits.

The estates of UK resident taxpayers would under current UK Inheritance Tax rules remain liable for tax on the whole of such gift unless the taxpayer survived for a full 7 years following such transfer provided that the donor did not retain any benefit in the transferred asset during that time if, for instance, the taxpayer retained the use of if it. If the death occurred less than 7 years after the gift, there is a partial exemption from UK Inheritance Tax, depending on the number of whole years which have elapsed thereafter.

Provided the French law remains as it is at present, there may be a tax advantage in UK residents making gifts to their children during their lifetime of their property in France up to the limit of the sum which will not bear French gifts tax.

It is widely expected that with the change in government this exemption may soon no longer be available. Any UK taxpayer who might wish to avail himself or herself of this exemption to French gifts tax (subject to certain limits) should contact us without delay to explore the possibility of taking advantage of this exemption.

Persons seeking to take advantage of these provisions should individually take advice from properly qualified persons, such as Barney & Company, before considering making such gifts.

•With thanks to Barney & Co

For further information please contact 01458 270296 or email [email protected] or visit

Barney & Company are a specialist firm of experienced property lawyers who are registered English Solicitors and who deal in French property. As French speaking Anglo French lawyers they have good established links with several French lawyers who are able to assist with any unusually complex matters and who are legally able to act as the French Notaire in relation to the final transfer deed on the sale or purchase of French property.

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Sylvia is a freelance journalist based in France, focusing on business and culture. A valued member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia is a regular contributor to our publication.

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