Declaring Uk bank accounts

Hello ,

a lot of friends have said that they have not yet declared Uk bank accounts on their French tax form, as this is now a necessity as it can attract a very heavy fine , some are question is ..does anyone know ..if you declare a Uk account that you have had for a long time, can you be penalized for not having declared it before or is it ok that at least you are declaring it now ... Thanks

I think you'll find that the reason for requiring accounts held outside of France to be declared is to do with preventing money laundering and evasion of ISF (Impots Sur la Fortune ---- Wealth Tax.) So as long as you haven't been knowingly naughty, then everything will be fine. Just go ahead and declare them. The form is very simple and straightforward. We have declared ours (relating to more than one country) for a number of years without any problem. We have never been asked to supply any proof, and we have never received any communication from anyone to indicate that the french authority have ever used the information in any way. I suspect that the tax office simply files it and forgets it, unless they have some special reason to investigate your affairs.

I think that the basic rule applies of:- Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear. Much better to declare the accounts as required by the law as you'll sleep easier as a result. It's not the little fish that they are after catching.

I don't even use a form. I just attach a sheet of paper with bank sort code,account number, bank address and account name. No problems at all.

We do the same Sue and like you, no problems at all. If we close an account, we notify that on the same piece of paper.

Some say that you need only notify the fisc once but as it's stored as a word document, it's no hassle to reprint it year on year and send it in.

How this will be affected when we all have to go on-line tax returns I really don't know.

Hi Sue

I went thru this process last year, in something of a panic, declared all my bank accounts and nothing happened.

But I had always declared income, interest etc, in all the previous years, so my total amount due for tax purposes was correct.

However, as I recall, somebody on SFN reported that knew of somebody who had been fined by their local impots.

I took the precaution, I do not know if it was justified, of employing an accountant partly to make sure I used the right forms and partly as I had a professional to support me if things went pear shaped.

An anecdote. Many years ago I had some income which I could easily have hidden. I discussed this with my accountant and his comment was as follows:

You can probably get away with it

You can certainly afford the fine if you are caught.

But the HMRC will make your life a misery from then on and you have better things to do and can make more money making a success of your business than spending time with HMRC inspectors.

So I thought that was sage advice, which I have always followed.

So find a professional, let them guide you through the process.

As previous posters have said, just put the bank details on a sheet of paper and attach it to the tax form. Don't add or say anything else that will attract attention to it. Job done!

Thanks to everyone who posted, think it's time to do this.

Is it possible to verify online that a UK account has been registered at the french tax office?

I explain: a few years ago, at the time we were urged to declare accounts held overseas, while declaring our revenues online I tried to declare a small UK bank account my wife (Kate) insisted in keeping to pay casual bits and pieces (and maybe because she feels better with still having a small link with England?), the balance never exceeded £800 and the account never had any credits, only debits. There was an access to an online form to fill. I filled it but when submitting it it would show an error message, tried several times with no success. I decided to continue declaring our income and completed the process. But I did print the filled form and error message and went to the tax office to explain my case. As usual there was a very long queue and when I reach the counter, the lady called a tech chap from the office behind who came quite rapidely but was surprised that I couldn´t complete the declaration online. Anyway, he took my details and the copies of what I printed out and said that he would do it for me but probably ¨not today¨ as they were overloaded at the moment. I didn´t ask him to sign for the reception of my photocopies as I thought (or he made be believe) that he was doing me a favour. Since then, it has been on my mind that I am never too sure that it was done.

Any suggestions?


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As far as I know you need to do all your UK / foreign bank accounts very year not just once. Just record it this year along with any others you have. I think you have to record paypal accounts as well if you keep money in it.

Sorry to disagree with Sue but I was led to understand that once you have declared a bank account, you do not need to re-declare it each year.

Of course you have to declare any taxable income each year.

As ever check with a professional but that was what mine told me.

In reply to Kate & John, provided you have your tax number and of course have an ol-line account with the Impots then you can check back a number of years, not sure how many, and see what you have declared including your UK banks.

I am NOT sure that old manually entered data is recorded but there is only one way to check.

If your bank is not recorded, then I would send a letter to the Impots, telling them what you did, what happened, ect and of course all the details by recorded delivery (or whatever it is called) and stop worrying.

Chances are they have all the info from your UK bank account already and with respect are not too excited by a few hundred pounds especially as you infer it was not paying any interest.

Hope this helps.

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Hi Peter.

Sorry, but Sue is correct in saying that all accounts must be declared every year. The last line of Item 8 on page 4 of this year's 2042K Declaration Form is very clear in that it requires a cross to be placed in box 8UU in the event of any foreign accounts having been opened, used, or closed at any time during the tax year. The fainter print then requires the attachment of either a form 3916 (for each account), or a list of the accounts on plain paper giving the same information that is required by the form 3916. Even if an account has not had any 'activity' in the form of deposits or withdrawals, it must still be declared as it can be viewed as having been 'used' to store money.

It is not just bank or building society accounts that must be declared, but also any brokerage or other financial institution accounts such as PayPal or Bitcoin in which money is held for even a very short period of time. This would probably also include a Foreign Exchange account held with a Forex supply company through which Sterling has been exchanged into Euros. I do accept that this is admittedly rather getting into the technical Nth degree of things, and that most tax offices would not be interested in such things in respect us poor non-millionaires. The object of the exercise is to enable the tax authority to follow the money trail if needs be.

I play safe myself, and declare everything every year so that there can be no come back at all. The policy of 'drown them in paper' generally works quite well when dealing with officialdom I find. No doubt I shall eventually be forced to make an online declaration, but I am going to stave off that day for as long as possible.

Thank you Robert and apologies to Sue. I will enusre that I follow this procedure when I declare my returns on-line in late May.

We do our tax forms online, but I found an email address on the French tax web page and attached a spreadsheet to an email setting out the new UK Santander accounts we had taken out since the last declaration, and mentioned that we no longer used two Nationwide savings accounts. I received an email back confirming that they had been filed. I have assumed this was so that they knew I was declaring interest from offshore accounts. So I have nothing to fear from the Panama papers :-))

Thanks very much for all your comments. If we have to declare all accounts held overseas, including PayPal accounts every year, does that include PayPal accounts used for running an Auto Entrepreneur business? As I do my returns online, how will I list such accounts?

Thanks for all the clarifications so far.


If the PayPal account is a French one (as ours is) and in Euro, surely this is not regarded as being a compte Ă  l'etranger?

Thanks for your comment Graham. How do you know whether your Paypal account is a French account or else? I have 2 Papal accounts one that was open years ago with a Gmail account when we were either in the UK or US (can´t remember), linked to my French bank account, and the other one opened while in France with a different Gmail account and also linked to my French banks account. Both are used for transactions with the US and France and can hold funds either in Euros and US$.

This is what I read about Paypal:

¨PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. & Cie, S.C.A est autorisée au Luxembourg en tant qu’établissement de crédit au sens de l'article 2 de la loi du 5 avril 1993 sur le secteur financier et est placée sous la supervision prudentielle de la Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, sis L-1150 à Luxembourg.¨

Doesn´t this make it an account held overseas?



Simply because it's a professional account.

The fact it is linked also to our French bank account I think has little bearing on the matter; I guess we could have an account in Polish Zlotty linked to our French account if we wanted to but I wouldn't feel confident that it didn't to be declared separately for that reason only.

So far as we can see, the account is a French one and no different to, say, an HSBC or other multinational bank with a French presence opened and maintained in France.

Thanks Graham,

When login onto my PayPal accounts and clicking on the settings gear at the top right I see that both my PayPal accounts are listed as ¨Nationalité = France¨, this cannot be changed by me eventhough one is set to be in French and the other in English. This makes me beleive then that they were both opened in France, but remain the fact that PayPal is a company registered in Luxemburg, does that make the accounts considered as held overseas?

'If' challenged by the fisc, I'd feel pretty confident that they would accept they are actually French accounts when told that but hey, if it concerns you, declare them. Nothing to lose...

The more I search the web the more it gets me crazy. It seems that no-one really knows for sure. As you say Graham, it would be best to declare them. Having not done it earlier, if it was you, what would you enter in the box asking for the date they were opened?