Tax Identification number

We've just moved permanently to our house in the Creuse, and before we left we changed our address with our uk bank, we'll be keeping an account open along with our French account. We've just received letters from the uk bank asking for a TI number. Can anyone assist with this please, cant find much info anywhere about it.


That's what I said Peter, I'm fully conversant with the process. The relevant documentation for the banks (and I'm not only talking UK here) is from their local tax authorities not from me. Which I guess is why no bank has asked for a TIN thing, they may have been issued one already for all I know. The relevant documentation for their local tax authorities is from the Fisc. as I am tax resident here. Remember, just because one is resident here doesn't mean all one's tax is paid here and there are some categories of income that despite being liable to taxation here cannot be paid gross abroad and have be claimed in arrears as they are not covered by the dual taxation agreement.

What I'm basically getting at is there is a right way to do this and there may be the banks way of doing it. I would never assume that the banks way is right. In fact the opposite.

Thanks Peter. We separated early 2013!

Same comment still applies no TIN asked for. My Acts changed by me in UK late Feb '13 and both together in France early March '13. Status Quo remains for tax declarations here, no other tax due to UK by me - OH I don’t know - but that’s his problem not mine!


TINs were not required in 2008, not even sure they existed, which is why you were not asked for them.

The process was changed when the EU decided to get a grip on tax evasion a few years back but long after 2008.

I have to agree with John S here re HSBC - it’s only bank I use both in France and UK. U.K. Branch did give us a form back in 2008 to complete that would have allowed interest to have been paid gross. Because we immediately got stuck into renovation works on the house, I forgot about it!

By time I unearthed it again from files, we’d been continuing to pay the tax on interest paid,over the period and took the view, which accountant agreed with, that for French Tax Purposes, we could prove it, and no additional tax had to be paid on that income here.

Tax authorities were informed by me (can’t speak for my separated from husband)that joint current and savings accounts were closed. I provided my new individual account nos. we have both had our own individual current and savings account. We went together to French bank and separately to UK branch when back there to complete necessary paperwork in year of separation here.

Neither branch of HSBC asked for TIN! Whole thing not a complicated procedure, just time consuming!

You have two choices:

a) Pay tax on your gross income in the UK to the HMRC and then pay tax on your gross income in the UK to the Impots (a variant on the double taxation treaty I suppose!)

b) Go thru the due process and pay tax once.

It is a long time since I did this but the steps are:

a) Register with the French tax authorities - form filling process

b) Notify the HMRC that you are noiw tax resident in France - more form filling process

c) The HMRC then notify the Impots (in Paris as I recall)

d) Eventually you all end up on the same page.

e) You then advise each financial institution that you are tax resident in France, with supporting documentation from the HMRC) who once they have verified this with the HMRC will pay you gross of tax in the UK.

f) As I recall, any tax paid in the UK after the agreed date that you became tax resident in France is reimbursed.

I did this all 16 years ago, so my memory may be at fault and the process may, well probably, have changed, but the essentials must be about right.

When I recently opened a bank account in the UK, aside from the usual EofI stuff, they had a department, procedure and of course lots of forms to do all of this stuff.

Hope this helps.

Yes I can see that, but unless it's legislation I'd be bloody annoyed with the bank. Providing a French address is proof of French residence, there you go. After that it's a Treasury matter. I lived in Dubai, whenever I opened an account in Europe nobody asked me for my Dubai tax number. Which is just as well because there's no tax in Dubai. OK, maybe a bit glib because there's no dual taxation treaty :-)

If the banks have to play silly buggers (and I haven't found it yet) I'd prefer they deduct at source and I'll deal with the tax authorities all in one go. I don't need some adolescent banker making decisions about my tax liabilities :-0

Peter, On professional advice I completely agree with you. All my affairs are handled by my accountant. I'm very happy to give any information to any Government body that requests it, on the other hand I'm not going to give any information the Banks that I don't have to. Banks are IMO generally incompetent and obviously self serving so why would I acquiesce to their demands without understanding why. For too long the bank manger was seen as a pillar of society when in fact they were just the opposite. I remember being shocked at how well the lazy, incompetent employees of Societe General (my first French bank) were dressed when I first came to France in 1981. My days of kowtowing to banks are over, make them work for their money and explain what they want and why it is my interest to give it to them is my view. If one is tax compliant one has nothing to fear, one shouldn't let some jumped up bank employee dictate matters.

UK banks can be a bit prickly about paying savings interest gross. That arrangement is made through your bank not via HMRC. I was wondering if it was one bank’s way to prove that the account holder is not UK resident for tax purposes. Saying, ‘I live in France’ is not sufficient as anyone could say that.

I’m totally with you on declaring all foreign accounts here Simon, and I have done so always, so no worries there. But I don’t get Alice’s bank’s problem. None of the EU banks, including HSBC UK, I use have asked me for my French tax details. I think they just return my info to their tax authorities and bingo, it’s all shared. I really have little time for banks having worked with them over the years. Lazy, arrogant and greedy are the words that come to mind. So, if one requested my French tax details I’d ask why and want to be pointed in the direction of the legislation that requires that. I suspect some jobsworth in Alice’s bank has come up with some labour saving (for the bank) wheeze and got an award for it, maybe even promotion, but it’s the clients that end up doing the work. Anyway, when the UK leaves the EU this will all be irrelevent :frowning:

Hi John

I am making one central assumption which is that you are tax resident in France and my comments are made on that basis.

It is my understanding that there is a full exchange of information between the English and French tax authorities. So any income you receive on investments, savings, bank accounts, sales of assets, is collected by the IR and given to the Impots.

If you are asked to provide your TIN, you should do so, though the choice is yours. However since in our case John Scully and Peter Scawen are known to the Impots and in your case (I assume) you have not supplied your TIN when asked, you will/may show up on the data listing and potentially invite queries.

The fines for non disclosure can be quite heavy.

You are legally required as I am sure you know to declare to the Impots, your bank details and all world wide income. I am quite sure that each country applies the money laundering regulations in a different way so I am not surprised at your experience. However, I would add that I know from personal experience that HSBC are chasing people down so maybe you will be contacted shortly.

It is also my impression that the attitudes towards this issue in France vary from region to region, some people on this blog have reported heavy fines for non compliance, others have reported no action.

So I am not being didactic, just recording my understanding as I do not claim to be an expert, only reporting what I have been advised.

My solid counsel is to get professional advice.

John S - it's not about proof. The simple fact that you have declared a foreign address to your UK bank will have promoted them to ask for your French Tax ID.

They need it so they can disclose your accounts to the French fisc. You know the 3916 (foreign account declaration) forms you complete with your annual French tax return? - well .....they are 'matched' with the declarations made by UK banks to the French fisc.

So...really, really important to declare annually all foreign accounts opened, closed or used - massive fines. It's part of the ongoing Europe wide anti-money laundering purge.

I’m not sure I’m with you John. If one isn’t resident, one isn’t resident. Why would one waste time having to prove “non residency”. Surely a foreign address is sufficient for the bank and then it’s over to the Treasury, or is this more offloading of Civil Service workload to the Private Sector :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t assume that the UK bank has any right to one’s French tax number Peter. While I’m scrupulously tax complient I don’t belive in giving banks any info I don’t have to. I don’t think they are trustworthy. Let the bank report to the Treasury as they are obliged to and let the tax authorities coordinate. It is the Treasury and the Fisc that determines one’s tax residency, not some bank manager. They’ll provide the correct documentation to send to the Bank. Personally, I’ve never been asked for my country of residence tax number by banks I have accounts with in other EU countries and that includes HSBC UK, they don’t even have my NI number. Given the perfomance of the Banks over rthe last decade I think the days of complying with bank mangers requests unquestionably are over. If they’re not careful, as they retreat from the highstreet because of cost, Paypal, Applepay, etc are going to put them put them out of business :slight_smile:

None of the Bank’s business John.

Thanks again for all your useful replies. Will,definately be getting professional advice over this.

Are your interest payments on any savings that you have in your UK bank accounts being paid gross? If so your bank will need proof that you are French resident for tax.

Hi Alice

Your UK bank will need your French Tax Identification number, others have explained where it comes from. Now you are resident in France, you are liable to French tax, not English tax and thus any interest you earn in the UK must be declared on your French tax return - get professional advice before you do that. You will need to tell the UK tax authorities you are no longer tax resident in the UK so that all any income there, pensions in the future can be paid to you gross of tax.

There is a bucket load of stuff you have to do, so again get professional advice so you get it right. Some French tax authorities are quite relaxed if you make a mistake others less so, again others on this board can tell you of their experiences.

Hope this helps along with the information posted by others.


Ah thanks Simon