France: Amended Letter of Request to Clearstream Banking for Reclaim of French Withholding Tax

13.09.2019

Clearstream Banking1 informs customers that since the implementation of the 12.8% domestic tax rate applicable to eligible foreign individuals, as announced in L18010 and L18007, it has been noticed that many customers continue to address standard refund requests based on double taxation treaty (DTT) rates that are higher, mostly 15%, than the domestic rate.

To ensure that these standard refund rates are requested in full knowledge, the Letter of Request to Clearstream Banking for Reclaim of French Withholding Tax (the “Letter of Request”) has been amended to better reflect the different tax rates available based on DTT or domestic law and that are most frequently reclaimed.

Effective

immediately

the amended Letter of Request (V2) is available for the application of a standard refund. This can be found on the LuxCSD website in Tax Forms to Use – France.

Impact on customers

For customers who have already provided Clearstream Banking with the previous version of the Letter of Request (V1): 

  • No action should be taken, the standard refund file will be treated based on the documentation provided.

For customers who have not yet provided Clearstream Banking with a Letter of Request:

  • both the previous Letter of Request (V1) and the amended Letter of Request (V2) are acceptable.
    However, if the request is made on behalf of individuals for payments that occurred as of 1 January 2018, it is recommended to use the amended Letter of Request (V2).

Important note

The tax rate of 12.8% is applicable to eligible foreign individuals on payments made as of 1 January 2018. For income distribution that occurred on or before 31 December 2017 the DTT rates apply and can be reclaimed accordingly.

As the statutory deadline for reclaiming withholding tax for DTT residents is two years after the end of the calendar year in which the dividend payment was made, unless stipulated otherwise in the tax treaty, the previous version of the Letter of Request (V1) will be accepted until 31 December 2019. 

From 1 January 2020 only the amended version of the Letter of Request (V2) will be accepted. Customers will be reminded in due course of this deadline.

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.