Traditionally, registration or stamp duties apply on transactions requiring a civil servant analysing a deed and assessing and collecting the duties provided for by law.Despite taxation being its primary purpose, registration also has civil consequences since it gives the deed a legal date and, in certain cases, is a condition of its validity.

Therefore, they can apply to transfers of real property or real property rights, transfers without consideration of assets during lifetime (gifts) or on death (probate, inheritance),…

In principle, tax is assessed on the market value of the assets at the date of the deed or transfer, as expressed in the deed or in the estimated value declaration filled out by the parties and controlled by the authorities.

The market value of an asset corresponds to the price at which it could be sold or bought under market conditions.

Depending on the type of deed or legal transaction subject to the formality, registration duties may be:

  • fixed duties, applicable to judicial documents (criminal orders, court judgments), extrajudicial documents (drawn up by legal officers, auctioneers and valuers, gendarmes) and certain deeds liable to fixed duty, the amount of which varies according to the nature of the taxable transaction (innominate deeds, notarised deeds, divorces), are constant for all deeds in a given category or not liable to proportional or progressive duties,
  • proportional representing a constant percentage of the value of the assets that are the subject of legal deeds or transactions. They apply mainly to sales of real property, certain corporate transactions and insurance policies, or
  • progressive whose rate increases with the value of the assets concerned. They apply in particular to transfers without valuable consideration.

The deadlines for payment of registration or stamp duties are short, they are payable when deeds are presented for registration which is generally within 30 days of the transfer.

Therefore, it is advisable that there be no delay in carrying out registration formalities in order to avoid application of late payment fines and interest.

Given that French registration or stamp duties may be applicable if either party are French resident or if the underlying assets are situated in France, Triplet & Associés can assist with ensuring that the registration formalities procedure are correctly fulfilled in a timely manner.

For further questions on French registration and stamp duties please click here.