France: Temporary extension of the grace period for relief at source documents

17.04.2020

Note: This announcement, originally published on 24 March 2020, has been updated as the French Tax Authorities have extended the validity of the certificates of residence provided in 2019 from 30 April 2020 until 15 July 2020. The changes have been highlighted.

Due to the current exceptional circumstances, Clearstream Banking1 informs customers that the French Tax Authorities extended temporarily the validity of the certificates of residence (CORs) provided in 2019 for the benefit of the simplified procedure.

With the new ordinance of 25 March 2020 (Ordonnance n° 2020-306 du 25 mars 2020), the deadline, initially extended to 30 April 2020, is extended to 15 July 2020.

Effective

immediately

the CORs and forms 5000 provided in 2019 are considered valid until 15 July 2020.

Background

CORs and forms 5000 to obtain relief at source or quick refund through the simplified procedure of withholding tax on French-sourced dividends are in principle valid until 31 December of the year in which they were executed.

This validity may be extended until 31 March of the following year on condition that a new COR is provided during that following year. Please refer to Announcement C19035 for further details.

With this new temporary measure, the CORs provided in 2019 are considered valid until 15 July 2020, on condition that a new valid COR is provided in original before the end of 2020.

Important note: The CORs provided by foreign individuals to obtain the benefit of the 12.8% are valid three years. Therefore, CORs dated 2018 will only expire on 31 December 2021.

Impact on customers

Customers wishing to obtain relief at source or quick refund on behalf of beneficial owners must follow the below detailed process:

For all beneficial owners who have not provided a valid documentation for relief at source in 2019

The new valid documentation, fully completed, dated and signed must be provided to Clearstream Banking in original at the latest on record date minus one business day of the first dividend payment date to which it applies, by 09:00 CET.

For all beneficial owners who have provided a valid documentation for relief at source in 2019

  • If the documentation was provided for the benefit of the rate of 12.8%:
    This COR is valid for three years. No action to be taken.
  • If the form 5000 was provided for the benefit of the double taxation treaty (DTT) through the simplified procedure:
    The form 5000 will be valid until 15 July 2020 and must be renewed, in original, before the end of 2020.

Important note: Failing to provide the original documentation before the end of 2020 will result in the reversal of the exemption obtained and the application of the full 28% withholding tax rate to all dividends received since 1 January 2020

Further information

For further information, please contact the Clearstream Banking Tax Help Desk or Clearstream Banking Client Services or your Relationship Officer.

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1. Clearstream Banking refers collectively to Clearstream Banking S.A., registered office at 42, avenue John F. Kennedy, L-1855 Luxembourg, and registered with the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register under number B-9248, and Clearstream Banking AG, registered office at 61, Mergenthalerallee, 65760 Eschborn, Germany and registered in Register B of the Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, Germany under number HRB 7500.