Spacious and Luxurious -- Move-in/Rental Ready! Located at the corner of rue du Roi Doré and rue de Turenne with a perfect view of the Church of Saint-Denys of the Holy Sacrament and rue St. Claude, just steps from the 400 year-old Place des Vosges, the newly renovated Musée Picasso and the hip rue de Bretagne, this 100m² three-3 bedroom/two-and-a-half bathroom luxury apartment in the heart of the Marais is the perfect luxury home or rental.
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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
When you purchase a property in France, you will need a French bank account. If you take a mortgage, the lender will require that the monthly payments be automatically deducted from your account. If you contract with EDF or GDF for your utilities (the electricity and gas companies), you will not be able to open an account without that French bank account. The bottom line is that it is essential.
A bank account in France has never been easy to open and has become increasingly difficult, thanks to the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). This is largely because the regulations imposed on foreign banks by the U.S. government make it expensive and difficult for those banks and therefore American clients are undesirable. If you are unfamiliar with FATCA, get familiar!
"U.S. individual taxpayers must report information about certain foreign financial accounts and offshore assets on Form 8938 and attach it to their income tax return, if the total asset value exceeds the appropriate reporting threshold. Form 8938 reporting is in addition to FBAR reporting." (irs.gov) The threshold is "the aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeding $10,000 at any time during the calendar year."
Don't be frightened by this. It doesn't mean you pay tax on the amounts held in your foreign bank accounts. It's just that the IRS wants to know about them and ensure that your income was reported for tax purposes prior to having transferred it into those accounts. It's better to report every penny than not, as the fine for those who fail to report these accounts "may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per violation for non-willful violations that are not due to reasonable cause. For willful violations, the penalty may be the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the balance in the account at the time of the violation, for each violation." Now, that's something of which to be frightened!
To open a French bank account with a commercial bank in France, it must be done IN PERSON. There are almost no banks willing to do this long distance without seeing the physical person and backing up the account with a stack of documentation.
This is certainly different than in the U.S. bank where you can open an online account in moments, or walk into any branch of just about any bank and sit down in front of a bank officer waiting with baited breath to open your account in a matter of minutes -- with as much money as you're willing to deposit. The paperwork is minimal and you are sure to walk out with an account, starter checks and a debit card or credit card attached to the account.
In France, to open an account you must phone or walk in to the bank of your choice and ask for an appointment with an agent for sometime in the future. Then, prepare yourself.
To choose the best bank for you may depend more on location of the branches than anything else, as they are all equally disappointing from a service point of view (my opinion) -- compared to what we as Americans experience Stateside. Remember that the idea of 'money' is still a 'dirty word' in France. An account can be opened with no money at all and the banks care more about you as a customer of all of its services than the amount of money you will deposit in their bank. Money is not what 'speaks' here! The relationship you have with the bank is what counts.
If you are purchasing a property, or rent one long term, then I recommend you develop a relationship with a bank branch near your residence and get to know the people who work in that branch. They will treat you best of all.
There are more than 400 banks in France from which you have to choose, but the largest groups with the most branches are:
A foreigner may open a non-resident account (compte non-résident), but not all banks are able to make this distinction. Non-resident accounts often carry with them a minimum amount held on deposit, and often that minimum amount isn't very nominal! It varies with each bank.
The documents you may need to open the account are:
* Proof of identity (a valid passport or ID card) * Proof of residence in France if a resident account (Carte de séjour or other visa) * Proof of a French address: a utility bill, rental agreement or property deeds * Proof of earnings or status: Contract of employment/proof of earnings/proof of status * Reference: from other banks where accounts are held (usually only required for loans and overdrafts) * In some cases, a birth certificate
Expect the fees for the account to be expensive and seem exorbitant considering the bank has your money! Fees may include, but not exclusive to:
* Package service * Check books * Bankers draft * Credit/debit Card * Cash withdrawals outside of the branch * Internet access and/or transactions * Statements * Stopping a check/card/direct debit * Foreign currency transactions * Direct debits * Overdrawn Account
When researching for the bank that makes the most sense for you, consider these fees, but also consider your ability to bank online (as a non-resident this may be most important) as well as build that relationship with your bank agent.
If you are just in the onset of finding your perfect property in France, make opening a bank account a high priority so that you won't miss the opportunity to open the account in person and perhaps delay your final transactions.
Recommended Financial Resources for Expats:
French Property Loan Mortgages for Non-Residents Mortgage Manager John Rule [email protected]
P.S. Did you know that many Parler Paris Apartments have been featured on House Hunters International? You can stay in one of the gorgeous apartments appearing in this popular show. Visit Parler Paris Apartments and look for the House Hunters International logo today!
PARLER PARIS APARTMENTS
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