France: Copies of power of attorney accepted
Following the agreement of the French Tax Authorities (FTA), Clearstream Banking1 can accept copies of power of attorneys (POAs) provided when the tax documentation is signed by the customer or a third party on behalf of the beneficial owner.
copies of POAs can be provided to Clearstream Banking instead of the originals, under certain conditions.
When tax forms, mainly but not limited to forms 5000, 5001 and RPPM, are signed by the customer or a third party on behalf of the beneficial owner under a POA, Clearstream Banking must receive the original of the POA as per the rules set by the FTA. The question of the acceptance of copies instead of originals was raised several times but never accepted as a general basis.
Considering the market practice and the difficulties encountered by Clearstream Banking’s customers to always provide the originals of the POAs, the FTA accepted that copies can be sent on condition that the original is provided upon the FTA’s first request.
Impact on customers
When providing the tax documentation for relief at source, quick refund or standard refund process, customers are still required to provide the original of the POAs if the documentation is not signed by the final beneficial owner.
If the original cannot be provided, Clearstream Banking will accept the copies of the POAs if the enclosed letter of indemnity is provided along with the first copy.
If there is an official request from the FTA, customers will have to provide the original of the POA before the end of the response time stated on the official request of the FTA. At the end of the review process, the FTA will send the original POA back to the customer.
Documentation to provide
- In addition to the usual tax documentation to be provided for the tax services offered by Clearstream Banking customers must provide, when relevant: The Power of Attorney: for every document that is not signed by the final beneficiary, customers must provide an original or copy of the POA. The first POA received will be registered in Clearstream Banking’s system and a reference number communicated to the customer. Thereafter, customers are required to provide copies of the POA with each renewed document, stating on the copy of the POA the reference of the first one registered in Clearstream Banking; and
- The Letter of Indemnity (LOI): when copies of POA are provided. This letter of indemnity is a self-declaration to be signed by the customer of Clearstream Banking and by which the customer commits to provide originals of the POAs upon request of the FTA. If this LOI is not provided, any copy of POAs will be rejected, and the full tax will apply to the dividend payment due to the related beneficial owner.
The letter of indemnity must be provided once along with the first copy of POA and is valid until revoked.
The LOI is not required from customers who provide original POAs.
Deadline for receipt of documents
If requested by the FTA, customers must provide Clearstream Banking with the original POA at the latest two business days before the deadline stated on the official request of the FTA.
Failing to provide the original POAs upon request and within the required deadline may result in the application of the default tax rate to the related dividend payment.
For other documentation related to relief at source, quick refund and standard refund the usual deadlines apply.
Further tax information can be found in the Market Taxation Guide – France.
For further information, please contact the Clearstream Banking Tax Help Desk or Clearstream Banking Client Services or your Relationship Officer.
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.