Non-residents: declaring a hand-to-hand gift (money, shares, jewellery, furniture, etc.)

Definitions

A gift is a contract under which, during his lifetime, a person immediately and irrevocably transfers property to another person who accepts it (Article 894 of the Civil Code).

The giver is called the donor and the recipient is called the donee.

Gifts must, in theory, be formally recorded by an instrument.

However, the hand-to-hand gift provided for in Article 757 of the General Tax Code (CGI) involves the ordinary handing over of any movable property (an item, money, a cheque, securities or shares) and does not extend to immovable property for which a notarised instrument is mandatory.

Valuation of gifted property

The gift must be valued:

  • either on the date it is declared

  • or on the date when it is actually handed over

The higher of the two values is used.

The type of property dictates the rules for valuation:

  • The value of jewellery and works of art or collectibles may not be less than 60% of the estimate set out in an insurance policy

  • Listed securities (shares, bonds) are valued at the most-recent stock market price (closing price on the day before the gift is made)

  • Unlisted securities are valued at their actual market value (the "GUIDE de l'évaluation des entreprises et des titres de sociétés" is available in the "Aide en ligne" section).

  • The value of movable property given in bare ownership or with a life interest is calculated on the basis of the life tenant's age

The latter can be assessed using the statutory scale provided for in Article 669 of the General Tax Code.

Declaration

You must report gifts to the tax authorities even if no duties are owed: 

  • Either using declaration no. 2735 together with payment of any duties owed

  • or using form no. 2734 allowing optional deferred payment of duties

"Declaration of hand-to-hand gifts and gifts of money" (No. 2735)  

Two copies must be filed by the donee (beneficiary) during the month following the gift with the registration division in the location of your residence. You will find the division’s contact details in the "Contacts" section.

You can contact a notary or fill out hand-to-hand gift declaration no. 2735 yourself: the form can be accessed via this website's search engine. Do not forget to mention previous gifts given less than 15 years ago by the same donor to the same beneficiary (you).

The declaration registration date will enable the 15-year period for entitlement to allowances to be calculated.

If there is another gift between the same people within 15 years of the first gift, the allowances and brackets of the tax scale used at that time may no longer be applied.

"Reporting a hand-to-hand gift of more than €15,000" (No. 2734)

When you receive a hand-to-hand gift of more than €15,000, you can choose to pay the duties within a month of the donor's death.

You can exercise this option using a special form "Reporting a hand-to-hand gift of more than €15,000" (No. 2734).

The beneficiary of the gift must file two copies of this form with the registration department in the location of his place of residence within a month of the gift actually being handed over.

Gifts of money are subject to the ordinary law allowances and rates determined on the basis of the relationship between the donor and donee.

Gifts of money to children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, or in the absence of descendants, to nephews and nieces, or by “representation” to great nephews or great nieces, may, under certain conditions, be exempt from duty on transfers without valuable consideration, in the commensurate amount of €31,865 every fifteen years.

Updated DINR ENR