During the G20 & IMF meeting, French authorities have announced plans to publish the register of beneficial ownership of trusts that was established in 2013, this means that all Beneficial Owners will be public.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Michel Sapin plans to make France ‘at the forefront of the battle against all types of tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning.’ The plans are one of 13 new proposals by France. It will encourage other jurisdictions to do the same, even though a few other countries currently have this obligatory trust register.
The French trusts register requires Trustees to report either annually or in the event of to the tax authorities if the trustee, any beneficiaries or the Settlor are resident in France, or if any of the trust assets are located in France. Fines will be imposed on those found to be non-compliant to the sum of at least €20,000, or 12.5% of trust assets, whichever is more.
The register has not been released yet as no final decision has been issued that set out the required consultation dealings. Mr Sapin’s announcement indicates it will implemented shortly, watch this space!