Reporting ISAs in the French system

I gather that interest must be declared on these. Is there any difference in this depending on whether the accounts are cash interest or stocks and shares based? (Excuse me if I’m not using the correct definitions). For example, I have both, and it seems that my cash ISA interest was as a few pounds, whereas the stocks/shares balance went down by a few hundred pounds.

There are a few Topics already on this subject for you to explore…

and you may also find this one from a few days ago of interest:

There is also this years guide on completing the French Tax return:

You can check for more by using the Search icon (magnifying glass) in the title bar…

Rather than you having to work your way through all those topics, (probably only to discover the answer you are seeking isn’t there):

You only need to declare ISA interest, etc if you withdraw money from the account (and therefore move it to a different account). Otherwise the changes in value of a cash or stocks and shares just accumulate within the ISA.

That’s great news if it’s the case. Why therefore isn’t it made so clear elsewhere? For example, I’m sure I’ve read advice mentioning that gains must be taxed in France, and this advice makes no mention of the idea that this applies only to withdawals/ closures.

One can read all sorts of advice and after a while, one might well find that there are conflicting messages coming through.

If you want clear, advice on how to complete your Declaration, you can ask your questions and/or seek answers several ways
*face-to-face at your local Tax Office
*through the online message service on your own compte on the impots gouv fr website
*the special guide (in English) which @graham has put together on this Forum.

The French Govt does provide guidance/clear Notes (in French) for each section of the Annual Declaration of Worldwide Income - both in paper form and online. Anyone with a complex situation… can seek answers/help as mentioned above.

Phew, I think I typed that without drawing breath… I do hope you find the answers you need.

If you think about it, individuals don’t report the gains/losses for their ordinary shareholdings each year (or usually for their properties or other capital assets). It is only when they are sold/change hands, etc. Otherwise it would be a bureaucratic nightmare to administer.

Properties can be slightly different in that the FISC does expect real annual property values to be declared when the total value is over 800,000€ for l’Impôt sur la Fortune Immobilière (IFI). They are now beginning to male a greater push to ensure this happens, given the property value inflation in some of France.

I have read that this is no longer the case, so if you had a share dealing account with a stockbroker in the UK each year you would declare in France the gains/losses and dividends whether cashed or reinvested. You would pay income tax on the dividends and +ve/-ve capital gains tax on the value/loss. Once you come to France the tax benefits of an ISA disappear and your account becomes exactly the same as the stockbroking share account.

ISA’s are a difficult area and there is no one size fits all quick solution, which is why I posted the various links for the OP to look at further.
The best we can do on SF is to guide enquiries in the right direction unless there is a clearly referenced answer available.
I can well see that the response by @JaneJones holds more value.

As you wrote “cashed or reinvested”

If you don’t buy or sell shares within a stockbroker account holding you have nothing to declare as you haven’t crystallised anything.

If you just hold a ISA and don’t make any changes then you haven’t crystallised anything either. In a stocks and shares ISA, where I suspect most of the holding is one or more managed portfolios which do not change. If the portfolio mix is changed by the ISA owner then there has been a crystallisation and it would need to be declared.

It is no different from having a holding an investment trust or unit trust. You would not be expected to declare all the profits/losses made by the manager as they change the mix of holdings…

I don’t have one, so just a curiosity for me but I did always wonder how one could report the many tiddly transactions made within unit trust envelope.

So just declare the dividends that are reinvested?

OK, thanks everybody (very, very much). I will be studying all your advise in much more detail today. I hope it will lead to a final decision about the the right place to declare a sold stocks ISA.

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