How to declare foreign bank accounts & investments

  1. For anything not considered an ‘assurance vie’ policy (which means the majority of overseas investments and bank accounts), you should ‘tick’ section 8UU on your main tax return (Form 2042). You must put an ‘x’ in this box.

  2. Give details of each account or investment on form 3916. You should complete one for each account. If there are several accounts (and you are doing a ‘paper’ return), it is probably going to be easier for you to list these on a separate piece of paper.

The first section asks for the surname, first name, place of birth and address of the people making the tax declaration. There isn’t much room! It also mentions ‘Qualité’ which I advise people to answer as ‘Déclarant’.

  1. You should then complete section 2.1 (surname, first name, address, etc of the account holder(s)).

  2. Section 4 asks for the account details as follows:

INTITULE DU COMPTE (Name(s) of account holder(s))

DESIGNATION DE L’ETABLISSEMENT (Name of bank / investment company, etc)

ADRESSE (Bank’s address – number and road))

COMMUNE ET PAYS (town and country where the bank is).

NUMERO DE COMPTE (account number)

CARACTERISTIQUES DU COMPTE (e.g. ‘compte courant’ (‘simple’ or ‘joint’) for current accounts. A Cash ISA is also classed as ‘compte courant’.

Savings or (‘higher interest’ accounts are ‘compte d’épargne’ and fixed term investments are ‘compte à terme’ Share ISA’s or investment bonds would be ‘compte titres’).

DATE D’OUVERTURE (date opened) DATE DE CLOTURE (date closed, if applicable)

It then asks for name(s) of account holder(s) and their signatures and name of the ‘Déclarant(s)’ and their signatures. These would usually be the same people. The form needs dating and you should you should write the name of the town where the form was signed (‘Fait à’ …… le xxxxxxx’).

n.b. It does not ask anything about the balance of the account.

  1. If any accounts have earned interest, you need to use Form 2047. On page 3, on the line ‘Intérêts et autre produits à revenu fixe’, you should write the country of origin in the box ‘Pays d’encaissement’ (‘RU’ for ‘Royaume Uni’). Declare the euro equivalent of the interest you have earned in the box 2TR. Carry this figure across to box 2TR on the main 2042 form (and add it to any other interest you declare here).

Most tax offices will accept the average exchange rate for the year 2016. The Connexion newspaper quotes this as €1.2578 to the pound.

For those doing online returns, after the personal details, such as name and address, it should ask if you want any ancillary forms (‘annexe’) and you just select the ones you want from the list (e.g. 2047, 3916). I understand that there may be a problem with such things as commas and even accents in the 3916 form, so I suggest you ignore these.

As mentioned earlier, if you are doing a paper return, you can alternatively list details of your accounts on a separate sheet of paper using the format shown for each account. It should still be dated and signed with the information as to who is signing it and where it has been signed.

@Graham_Keysell - Spectrum IFA

Thanks James, you have just shown me what a right balls up I made of mine! Too late to do anything about it now, got it in early this year. Mind you, it’s the same as I’ve always been doing and no one has ever told me different (apart from the time the masked tax men dragged me out of bed at 3am and waterboarded me)


When you tick box 8TT to say you have contrats d’assurance vie souscrits a l’etranger, such as a UK life investment bond, you enter a whole new realm of fantasy. If you click Joignez la liste des contrats, a pop-up form appears which allows you to enter one product, and at that, restricted space to enter the data it asks for. This has been lke this for 3 years at least. I’ve listed mine in what used to be section E. Form 3916 is for fixed term savings bonds.

Hi All

Don’t forget that the Tax Office staff will be pleased to answer any query…I reckon face-to-face is best (unless your French is very good) :grinning:

Hi James,

As per your guidance, we should then complete section 2.1 (surname, first name, address, etc of the account holder(s)).
When I looked at the document of HOW TO DECLARE YOUR TAX ONLINE (1).pdf (3.6 MB), it suggested to fill in just section 1 and 4.
It doesn’t show section 2.1, it just section 2
Do I need to fill in section 2 online?
In addition, if it’s a joint account, do I fill it in section 2?

Thanks in advance,

See pages 22-24 of the guidance.
Yes, you just complete sections 1 and 4 as the others are not obligatory and in the case of a joint account you enter the name of the joint account as it appears (say) on your statement (such as Mr & Mrs John Smith). The return is a joint one so covers you both.
You can’t sign it as such at 4 but if you are declaring on line - this is done automatically at the end when you submit the return.
If a paper return, you must of course sign it.

Great! Thanks Graham

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