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Solidarity wealth tax


(Impôt de Solidarité sur la Fortune - ISF)

The solidarity wealth tax is levied on individuals' assets. It is paid by tax households whose taxable assets exceed a threshold set by law, which is fixed at €1,300,000. Tax households whose net assets are below this level on 1 January are not therefore liable to pay this tax.

  • Who is liable to pay the solidarity wealth tax?

    • Individuals who are domiciled in France for tax purposes are, in principle, subject to the solidarity wealth tax, which is levied on all their assets (whether located in France or abroad).

    • Individuals who are domiciled abroad for tax purposes are subject to the solidarity wealth tax, but only with respect to their assets located in France.

  • How is the tax levied?

    • The tax is calculated per tax household.

    • Ÿ A person living alone (single, widowed, divorced or separated) constitutes a tax household in their own right.

    • Ÿ Married couples form the same tax household and are therefore, in this regard, subject to joint taxation on all of their assets (their own personal assets and assets owned jointly), regardless of which matrimonial property regime they have opted for. There are, however, two exceptions to this principle:
      - When the couple are married under the matrimonial property regime in which the spouses hold their property separately, and when they live separately, each of them will only be liable for the solidarity wealth tax with respect to their own personal assets;
      - When the couple, in the process of physically splitting up or getting divorced, are authorised to live separately, each of them may ask to be discharged of their joint and several liability for payment of the solidarity wealth tax. This request cannot be refused when there is a significant disproportion between the amount of the tax and the financial and asset situation of the person who makes the request. In practice, each spouse will only have to pay the fraction of the tax that corresponds to their own income and to half of the income that is shared by the couple.

    • The following persons are also subject to joint taxation with respect to the solidarity wealth tax on all of their assets (whether jointly owned or not):
      - persons who are known to be living as a couple without actually being married;
      - persons who have entered into a civil partnership, as from the first year of their civil partnership. In the event that the civil partnership is in the process of being dissolved or if the couple is separated, the same exception to the rule regarding joint and several liability for payment of the solidarity wealth tax as that enjoyed by married couples applies (see above).

    • Ÿ NB: assets belonging to minor children are taxable, and therefore must be declared with the assets of their parents who have legal responsibility for administering their assets. They may be divided in equal shares between the two parents when the parents are assessed separately for the solidarity wealth tax while exercising parental authority jointly. However, assets that belong to adult children in their own right are not included with the taxable assets of their parents, even if the children have asked to be attached to their parents' tax household for income tax purposes.

  • Which assets are taxable?

    • Subject to certain exemptions, the following types of asset, in the ownership of the tax household, are subject to the solidarity wealth tax:
      - buildings (houses, apartments, etc.), and land (plots of land, agricultural land, etc.), even if they have been sold during the year. Only the situation on 1 January is taken into account;
      - liquid assets: cash, current accounts, sums held on deposit, shareholders' credit accounts, savings passbooks, etc.;
      - non-exempt professional assets;
      - assets held under a usufruct;
      - movables (movables in the residential property and similar items);
      - financial investments, life-insurance policies, receivables, Treasury bonds, etc.;
      - motor vehicles, pleasure boats, private planes;
      - racehorses;
      - jewellery, gold and precious metals;

      Obviously this list is not exhaustive.

  • Which assets are exempt?

    • The following types of asset, in particular, are exempt:
      - professional assets, namely items required to carry on the profession that constitutes the principal activity of the taxpayer, or of their spouse, partner in a civil partnership, person with whom they live, or of their minor children. These may be immovables (business premises, agricultural land, medical practice, etc.) or movables (shares in companies, etc.);
      - works of art, collectors' items or antiques (i.e. items more than 100 years old);
      - classic cars more than 25 years old and any vehicle that belonged to a famous person, or which is technically innovative and roadworthy;
      - some income: sums or income received as compensation for personal injury (including when transferred by succession to the surviving spouse or surviving partner in a civil partnership); pensions received after the cessation of a professional activity; royalties; and also income from bearer bonds and shares;
      - shares received as consideration for subscribing to the capital of any SME with a registered office in a member state of the European Union and shares received as consideration for subscribing to certain funds investing in innovation or venture capital mutual funds;
      - up to 3/4 of their value, and under certain conditions: shares in companies that are the subject of a collective undertaking to retain shares for a minimum of two years;
      - up to 3/4 of their value: woods and forests and shares in forestry groups (however, shares in forestry savings companies are not exempt).

  • Which liabilities are deductible?

    • There are various types of deductible liability and some of them may be totally deductible (as with professional assets, works of art and collectors' items, copyright in literary or artistic works, industrial property rights, certain income and pensions and certain compensation payments) or partially deductible (for example shares in a company that is the subject of a collective undertaking to retain shares, shares in forestry groups, woods and forests, shares in rural real estate groups, etc.).

  • What is the tax scale?

    • When the net value of the taxable assets exceeds €1.3 million, the solidarity wealth tax is calculated in accordance with a graduated scale as follows :

       Fraction of the taxable net value  Rate applicable (%)
       Up to 800 000 €  0 % 
       Between 800 000 € and 1 300 000 €  0.50 % 
       Between 1 300 000 € and 2 570 000 €  0.70 % 
       Between 2 570 000 € andt 5 000 000 €  1 % 
       Between 5 000 000 € andt 10 000 000 € 1.25­ % 
       Above 10 000 000 € 1.50 % 

      A discount mechanism applies to assets with a net value between €1.3 and €1.4 million.
      This amount changes every year on January 1st.


If you wish to have further information, consult your notaire. They can provide you with informed advice and any clarifications that you need, in the light of your personal situation.

See also


French property market report / N°31