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French grandad wins €132m on first lotto ticket

A French grandfather who won €132 million in the Euromillions lottery would have made his compatriots envious this week, when he revealed his win was the first time he had played the lottery. He now wants to use some of the money to set a home for the elderly.

French grandad wins €132m on first lotto ticket
A French shopkeeper sells a Euromillions ticket to a customer hoping to win the €132-million kitty. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

Surely it doesn’t get luckier than this. The pensioner, from the Seine-et-Marne suburb of Paris, was driving in his car on March 29th, when he happened to hear a radio ad for that night’s Euromillions draw, which had a jackpot of €132 million.

Finding exactly two euros in his pocket, the retiree stopped at a tabac in the town of Provins, in the Seine-et-Marne department, and spent it on his first ever Euromillions lottery ticket.

No children’s birthdays, no magic numbers, just a ‘Flash’ pick, an option which automatically chose his numbers.

When he checked the results on TV the next day, he was “glued to the screen", the pensioner told France Television.

When he told his children he had won, they evidently thought it was a joke.

The lucky pensioner was given two months of anonymity by ‘Française des jeux’, the country’s authority on gambling and lotteries, in order to make financial arrangements.

He broke his silence with a televised phone interview on Tuesday.

How does the newly-minted granddad plan to enjoy his fortune? First, he intends to buy a French-made luxury car, and then take a trip to India with his wife.

After that, he wants to invest the bulk of his winnings in his children. “This will set them up for many decades, many generations to come,” he said.

The millionaire pensioner appears to also have a charitable spirit, though and is looking into using his astronomical bank balance to set up a home for the elderly.

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MONEY

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.

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