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Viewing posts from: November 2000

Professional Women’s Network – Cote d’Azur

By Lorraine Chekir
This article is published on: 25th October 2019


How Can We Make The Most From Our Money

PWN Nice Cote d’Azur is pleased to invite you to the event organised
with our partner EDHEC Business School:

Wednesday, November 6th

18.30 – 20.00 EDHEC Business School Campus, Nice.

Lorraine Chekir is the Treasurer for the Nice branch of the PWN and an International Financial Advisor with The Spectrum IFA Group, for the English speaking community on the Cote d’Azur and Var region. She helps and advises people on how to plan their investments and retirement planning tax efficiently based on their individual circumstances.

Lorraine will introduce the event and give a short introduction on the basics of financial planning. This will give you the basic tools on how to plan your finances in the most efficient, cost effective way to help grow your money for both your immediate, medium and longer term future.

Lorraine will introduce her two guest presenters, Holly Merriman and Harriette Collings who will cover the topics of:

  • Women Investing – why you should and how it can benefit you
  • The Investment Gap – what is it, how does it affect you and what can you do about it
  • The Pension Gap – Why does it exist, what changes you can make to Close your gap
  • Macro Economics – which will give an overview of the behavior and performance of the economy as whole and how this affects you and society as a whole

Everyone will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentations or a more private chat over a drink at the end.

This event is 15€ for PWN Members, 35€ for non-members, and Free to all EDHEC students. EDHEC students, please email Carmen at for your discount code.

We look forward to seeing you and learning with you on the 6th of November.

Holly Merriman

Holly Merriman
Tilney Group

Harriette Collings

Harriette Collings
Tilney Group

lorraine chekir

Lorraine Chekir
The Spectrum IFA Group

Property Thursday on Riviera Radio

By Lorraine Chekir
This article is published on: 14th April 2017


This week on Riviera Radio’s Property Thursday, Lorraine was delighted to be asked to shine her light on the property market in the South of France. With BREXIT being such a hot topic, what does this mean for British residents or expats wishing to buy a property in France?

Whether people are looking to buy a home or an investment property, there are many aspects of a person’s financial situation that needs to be examined before deciding on the various funding options. Talking to an Independent Financial Adviser that is registered and also resident in France is certainly the best place to start.

You can listen to Lorraine’s interview below:

UK Inheritance Tax V French Succession Tax

By Lorraine Chekir
This article is published on: 19th May 2016

This is an area that many expats find very confusing: what and where to declare, what and where to pay, where to even start!

It doesn’t help that UK and France have completely different rules. In the UK the estate pays the tax and the net proceeds are paid to the beneficiaries. In France, the proceeds are paid to the beneficiaries. The beneficiary will then complete a Succession tax form and pay the inheritance tax, the amount of which is based on their relationship to the deceased.

What many expats do not realise is that if you are a French resident and inherit from someone who was a UK resident you need to complete and submit a French Succession tax form to URSAAF within 12 months of their death. No actual tax is payable in France as there is a tax treaty in place between the two countries.

Let’s look at a couple of different scenarios:

You are a UK resident and own a property in France. When you pass away your estate will be taxed in the UK on your worldwide moveable assets. However, your property in France will be subject to French inheritance tax.

If you are a French resident, when you pass away French inheritance tax will apply to your worldwide assets. If you still have UK assets, it may be that you will also pay some inheritance tax in the UK, however there is a tax treaty in place to ensure that you do not pay tax twice on the same assets.

Inheritance Rules:

In the UK the law says you can make a will naming whoever you wish as your beneficiaries. If you have not made a will, then the rules of intestacy apply and the distribution of your estate is based on these. If you have no living relatives, even long lost and distant, then everything you have will go to the Crown. Anyone born in Scotland would have some restrictions on who they could leave their estate to.

In France you cannot freely dispose of “la réserve” which must be held for your children. You are only free to dispose of as you wish the “quotité disponible”. A spouse is not a protected heir in France, however unless you specifically disinherit them, they are entitled to a quarter of your estate. The amount freely disposable from your estate will depend on the number of children you have.

  • If you have one child they are entitled to half of your estate with half freely disposable
  • Two children are entitled to two thirds with one third freely disposable
  • Three children are entitled to three quarters with one quarter freely available

Since August 2015 it has been possible, in your French will, to adopt the inheritance rules of your country of nationality. This means if you are from the UK then you can adopt UK inheritance rules and leave your estate to whoever you wish. However, it is important to note this applies to inheritance rules not tax, French inheritance tax will still apply. I think this change in legislation will be of particular importance to people in second marriages with children from previous relationships and maybe from the current relationship also. For some reason, the UK and Ireland have chosen not to sign up to this change, which means if you are from the EU and living in the UK your estate will be subject to UK inheritance rules and tax.

Inheritance Tax Rates:

In the UK, the first 325,000 GBP of a person’s estate is free of inheritance tax. From the tax year 2017/18 if you have a family home that will pass directly to your children, then an additional allowance of 100,000 GBP will apply, rising to 175,000 GBP by 2020. This means that by 2020, married couples and those in civil partnerships with a family home to pass to children, could pass a total of 1m GBP free of inheritance tax. Inheritance tax in the UK is 40% of everything above your allowance.

In France, each person can leave 100,000 Euro to each of their children free of inheritance tax. Above this there is a sliding scale starting at 5% and rising to 45%. However as a guide, between 15,932 Euro and 552,324 Euro, the rate payable by the beneficiary is 20%.

For siblings, the first 15,932 Euro of what you leave them is free of inheritance tax, then they pay 35% on the next 24,430 Euro and 45% on everything else

Nieces and nephews can have just 7,967 Euro free of tax then pay a whopping 55% on the rest.

Everyone else (including non-married partners) can inherit a measly 1,594 Euro free of tax and will pay a massive 60% on amounts above this.

An important tax planning tool is the Assurance Vie. Providing it is set up before age 70, you can name beneficiaries and each beneficiary can inherit 152,500 Euro free of inheritance tax, amounts between 152,500 Euro and 852,500 Euro will be taxed at 20% and anything over this at 31.5%. As you can imagine, this could make a huge tax saving, especially for non-married partners, nieces, nephews and beneficiaries not related to you, with potential tax savings of up to 60%. The great thing is, it remains your money until you die which means you have full access if you need it, unlike when you put money in a trust in the UK to try and reduce your inheritance tax liability. In addition, it is the nearest thing the French have to an ISA as your money grows tax free.

If you want any more information or would like some advice, please contact me on the number or email below.

I also hold a free financial surgery in Café de la Tour in Les Arcs on the last Friday morning of each month where you can discuss your own situation in confidence over a cup of coffee.

This article is for information only and should not be considered as advice and is based on current legislation. 04/05/2016.

The France Show, 23-25 January 2015

By Lorraine Chekir
This article is published on: 21st January 2015

Visit the Riviera Alliance stand (P268) at The France Show, The Olympia Exhibition Centre, 23-25 January 2015 10am-5pm

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 16.46.56
The Spectrum IFA Group is one of the founding members of the Riviera Alliance, an established network of professionals based in the south of France. Spectrum will be represented by Lorraine Chekir, one of the advisers in the Cote d’Azur region. The Riviera Alliance covers every step in the process of buying, owning, renovating, or selling real estate. Each member is a specialist in their field and will make your life in the Riviera easier.

“We are here to help you”

Capital Gains Tax and the Expat Property Owner

By Lorraine Chekir
This article is published on: 28th May 2014

You have realised your dream, bought a property in France, perhaps as a holiday home to start with but now you have moved here, maybe to work, or perhaps you have retired. The big question is what to do with your property or properties in the UK?

When moving to a new country many people are a little nervous about letting go of their old one, rightly so after all holidaying is one thing, but living in a foreign country quite another.  So often people keep their property in the UK, for a while at least, however this can have Capital Gains Tax (CGT) implications on a future sale.

 A tax treaty signed between France and the UK which became operative on 1st January 2010, meaning that for former UK residents now resident in France, they are liable for french CGT on the future sale of any property including your former main residence.  However no liability will apply in the UK.

Main Residence
If you sell your UK home when you move to France or within a relatively short space of time (usually within a year) then no CGT will be payable in either France or the UK.  If however, you hold into it for a while ( then or rent it out) then you will pay CGT on it in France just like any other maison secondaire, with no allowance being made for the fact that it was your main home for a period of time.

Buy to let
If you sell your UK buy to let property when you move to France rather than at a later date then you will pay UK CGT.  To work out how much tax you will have to pay, take the selling price of the property, then deduct the buying price.  You can deduct the costs of buying and selling, e.g. solicitor’s fees, stamp duty, estate agents fees, advertising etc.  You can also deduct the cost of

improvements to the property but not routine maintenance and repairs.  There is also an annual exemption allowance (£11,000 for 2014/2015 tax year).  CGT rates are 18% or 28% for higher rate tax payers.  HMRC website provides a step by step guide.

Any buy to let properties that you own in the UK and subsequently sell after you become a french resident will be liable to French CGT.

An important point to note,  if you are married, but your UK property is only in one person’s name, it may be sensible to transfer the property into joint names prior to any sale to reduce any potential UK CGT liability.  There is no CGT payable between spouses/civil partners and the CGT calculation on sale will be based on the original purchase price for both parties.

In France Gift Tax applies between spouses and applies to gifts made in the previous 15 years so it is sensible to take advice from a professional before taking any action.

French CGT
Like UK CGT, you start with the sale price and deduct the purchase price plus any associated buying and selling costs and costs of improvements (but not repairs or DIY, invoices need to be provided from registered builders etc).  If you have owned the property for more than five years the notaire can apply an allowance of 15% of the original purchase price of the property – even if you haven’t done any work!

For EEA residents the starting rate for french CGT is 19% plus 15.5% social charges however these start to reduce on a sliding scale from year 6 of ownership onwards.  After a full 22 years have passed the CGT reduces to nil, however it is 30 years before the social charges reduce to nil.  Additional charges apply for gains above 50,000 euros.

Working out when, where and how much Capital Gains Tax you should be paying can be quite a headache and the best thing to do is take advice from a professional.

This article is for information only and should not be considered as advice and is based on current legislation.  25/05/2014.