France is home to world’s richest woman

Two French tycoons have made it into the the annual American-dominated Forbes rich list, it was revealed on Tuesday, including L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, who can lay claim to the grand title of the world's richest woman.

France is home to world's richest woman
Principal shareholder and heiress of L'Oréal Liliane Bettencourt is the world's richest woman Photo: AFP

In securing the title of the richest woman in the world the heiress and principal shareholder of cosmetics and beauty giant L’Oréal, Bettencourt, was the only female to make it into the top ten of the 2013 Forbes list. At the grand old age of 90 Bettencourt, whose fortune is estimated to be worth around €30 billion was also the oldest person in the top ten.

She is joined in the pantheon of the world's most loaded people by her compatriot the CEO of luxury brand LVMH (Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy) Bernard Arnault, who scraped tenth place with his estimated fortune worth 29 billion dollars.

However in dropping down from his position as fourth in the 2012 list it seems Arnault has not had as good a year as he might have hoped. 

With French tycoons taking ninth and tenth place, France was the second most dominant nation in the top ten.    

However this might not last.

Arnault may be flying the flag for France this year but by next year he could be representing different colours all together after making a controversial bid for Belgian citizenship last autumn.

The mogul has denied he is seeking tax exile status from France but continues to cause uproar in his native country after it emerged earlier this year he had  transferred 'almost all' his wealth to Belgium.

French luxury goods mogul Francois Pinault also featured in the top hundred securing 53rd place with a net worth of $15 billion and compatriot Serge Dassault, who made his fortune in aviation, made it to 69th place with $13 billion. 

Mexican magnate Carlos Slim was the world’s richest person for the fourth year running, with his fortune estimated at an incredible $73 billion. He is followed by Microsoft former chief executive Bill Gates with has a handy $56 billion to fall back on if times get hard.

The most dominant continent represented on the list was Asia, which is home to 608 billionaires. There were 440 from the North America and 324 in Europe.

Forbes top ten richest people in the world 2013:

1. Carlos Slim – $73 billion
2. Bill Gates – $67 billion
3. Amancio Ortega – $57 billion
4. Warren Buffet – $53,5 billion
5. Larry Ellison – $43 billion
6. Charles Koch (ex-aequo) – $34 billion
6'. David Koch – $34 billion
8. Li Ka-Shing – $31 billion
9. Liliane Bettencourt – $30 billion                                                                      

10. Bernard Arnaud – $29 billion

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Do you pay tax on cryptocurrency in France and if so, how much?

Cryptocurrency is big business in France but the rules on the taxation of income from the currency differ to other countries.

Do you pay tax on cryptocurrency in France and if so, how much?

Bitcoin. Ethereum. Tether. Mining. Binance. To the uninitiated, cryptocurrency can sound like a different language. But, in France, it’s big business, with an estimated 3.4 million people reportedly holding at least some “crypto”.

In May, France became the first major European nation to give approval for cryptocurrency exchange Binance to operate in the country.

But this does not mean the country is operating a light touch on cryptocurrency regulations – a fact Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s CEO and founder, recognised at an event in Paris in April to launch a government-backed programme for “Web3” start-ups.

As cryptocurrencies become more mainstream, more and more people may be looking to get on board. But, is it taxable? How is it taxable, and how much tax do you have to pay?

First things first: yes, cryptocurrency income is taxed. It’s income. It’s taxable.

The tax rate applicable for capital gains and income from crypto assets depends on whether you’re a professional trader, an occasional investor or a miner.

France’s Direction Générale des Finances Publiques (DGFiP) says that capital gains from the sale of crypto assets like bitcoins are currently taxed at the following rates:

Occasional investors – flat tax rate of 30 percent, made up of 12.8% income tax and 17.2% for social security contributions

Professional traders – BIC tax regime of 0-45 percent.

Crypto Miners – BNC tax regime of 0-45 percent.

The flat rate for occasional investors applies to individuals with financial investments in crypto assets, and other investment income like dividends and life insurance, not to professional traders. 

The DGFiP will only tax capital gains from crypto when crypto is converted into euros or any other fiat currency, if the total capital gain exceeds 305€ per year.

That means those who only dabble in crypto pay less than those who make their living from it.

The difference between an occasional investor and professional trader lies in how often you “dabble”. 

The more you play the crypto market, the more likely you are to be regarded as a professional trader – in which case the variable rate of 0 percent to 45 percent applies.

The point at which an occasional investor and professional trader isn’t obvious – that decision is made on a case-by-case basis – but the DGFiP’s working out on this calculation is based on the total investment amount, trade volumes, and how often you sell cryptocurrency. 

The more often you do this, the more likely you are to be considered a trader.

Mining, meanwhile, falls under the non-commercial profits regime of the general tax code. For more details, click on the government website, here.

As for declaring any crypto accounts you may have, there’s a special section on your annual French income tax declaration. Transfers into legal tender currency (but not another cryptocurrency), as well as purchases of goods or services using crypto, are taxable.

The overall amount of the capital gain (or loss) for the year must be entered in the annual income tax return, along with the details of the transactions

Fines for failure to declare a single bank account or investment scheme are hefty – from €1,500 to €10,000, with €3,000 being a fairly common penalty. These amounts are applied to each account you fail to declare.