This February 2007 law is almost identical to the original bill introduced to Parliament in 2005 by Senator Philippe Marini, who himself followed in the footsteps of other previous bills. At first glance, the Treuhand appears as a replica of the Anglo-American "trust" or of the establishment recognized in Lichtenstein or Luxembourg. However, further study shows that it is an instrument with limited effectiveness. If you have any questions about the use of trusts in France or if you would like to know more about how best to hold assets in France via GSC, please contact us. The register was originally made available to all French taxpayers on 4 July 2016 via their own private access to the website of the French tax authorities. An American citizen, who was also a French taxpayer, immediately questioned the public nature of the registry because it constitutes a violation of her fundamental right to privacy, since the details of the trusts she had set up for her estate planning had been published in the register and made available to all. In May 2016, the French government created a public trust register to combat tax evasion and fraud and promote tax transparency. To date, 16,000 French-linked trusts (i.e. with settlors, beneficiaries or French assets in France) appear in the register. Details include the date of the establishment of the trusts as well as the names of their settlors, agents and beneficiaries.
The French legislator has taken steps to recognize trusts as a legitimate means of holding French assets and, therefore, to subject them, in some cases, to French income tax, property taxes and inheritance tax. Nevertheless, the general perception in France continues to believe that trusts are a means of tax evasion and that they are treated with suspicion. In an effort to regulate the taxation of trusts in France and as part of a wider fight against tax evasion and fraud, French lawmakers have taken a number of steps to determine with certainty the French assets held by trusts and the identity of the people behind the fiduciary structures. A bit of an unknown creature, long awaited by some observers, but greeted with skepticism by others, the concept of trust, inspired by the Anglo-American idea of "trust", has finally been introduced into French law. As a result, access to the registry is suspended for the time being. Since the very existence of the registry is not in question, it is possible that a new version of the trust register, perhaps more limited, will replace the original registry. In any event, the tax exposure of French linked trusts is not affected. Access to the register was therefore suspended on 22 July 2016, until the French Constitutional Court ruled that the public register complied with French constitutional privacy law and that the nature of the personal data that was accessible through the public register could lead to the disclosure of the succession planning elements of persons whose names are on the register and that they could be subject to various charges. Trustees of trusts with settlors, beneficiaries or French assets established in France under the law, particularly real estate, are required to make two types of declarations. In general, the ease of loyalty will easily allow a company to obtain or manage part or all of its property for a defined purpose. Several case studies have shown that, so far, French companies have been forced to look abroad for the legal means to manage their financial portfolios. One such example is that of Euromillions, for which the French gambling operator La Franéaise des Jeux – see article of this evaluation) has teamed up with other European lottery operators to create a trust under English law.