How are life insurance premiums taxed?

Theoretically, amounts stipulated as being payable on the insured party's death to a given beneficiary, other than the insured party him/herself or his/her heirs, are not included in the policyholder's estate.

However, life insurance policies will be included in the estate:

  • When there is no designated beneficiary, the capital is reintegrated into the deceased's estate

  • When the deceased was married or lived in a civil union, if the policy was taken out using common funds and when the policyholder or beneficiary has died, the value of the policy must be included in the community property. Half of the redemption value of the life insurance policy is added to the estate's assets.

  • When the policy is taken out using funds belonging to the deceased who is not the insured party, its redemption value must also be included in his/her estate's assets.

Premium taxation conditions (subject to international treaties):


Policies taken out prior to 20/11/91

Policies taken out after 20/11/91

Premiums paid prior to 13/10/98

Not taxable

Before 70 years old, not taxable
After 70 years old, taxes on transfers without valuable consideration*
(Art. 757 B of the General Tax Code)

Premiums paid after 13/10/98

of €152,500/beneficiary
then levy** at the rate
of 20% up to €700,000 and 31.25 % thereafter (Art. 990 I of the General Tax Code)

Before 70 years old, allowance
of €152,500/beneficiary then levy** at the rate of 20% up to €700,000 or 31.25%
(Art. 990 I of the General Tax Code)
After 70 years old, taxes on transfers without valuable consideration*
(Art. 757 B of the General Tax Code)

*Transfer duty upon death on the proportion of premiums over and above €30,500 (Art. 757 B of the General Tax Code) calculated on the basis of the family relationship. Representation provisions may not be used for life insurance.
All policies for which the insured party is the same should be included in calculation of the €30,500 threshold.

When several policies have been taken out with the same insured party for the benefit of several beneficiaries, the premiums of all the beneficiaries paid by the policyholder after the age of 70 should be aggregated to apply the allowance. The allowance is then shared amongst the non-exempted beneficiaries on a pro-rata basis of the proportion of the taxable premiums to which they are entitled.

**The levy is not owed when, on the date of death, the policyholder was not a resident of France for tax purposes unless the beneficiary is a resident of France on the date of death and had been for at least six of the ten years preceding the death.

The credit institution deducts this 20% or 31.25% levy directly.

The surviving spouse or the deceased's partner under a PACS (civil union) are exempt from this levy and from death duties when the death occurred subsequent to 22 August 2007.

To obtain a certificate of payment or of non-payability, which is required for the insurance company to release the funds, form 2705-A must be filed together with payment with the following department:

Recette des Non-Résidents
10 rue du Centre
TSA 50014
93465 Noisy-le-Grand Cedex
Fax: +33 1 57 33 83 69