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Yellow vest, fuel price and health pass protests planned in France on Saturday

Dozens of protests against rising energy prices and the health passport are planned in towns and cities across France this weekend. 

A protester wearing a hi-visibility vest holds up a sign reading 'Non au pass sanitaire' during a protest in France
Yellow vests have called for more protests this Saturday. Photo by Thomas Samson / AFP

The ‘yellow vests’ are leading the protests against increasing fuel prices, the cause that started the protests three years ago. A call has gone out for a ‘return to the roundabouts’, the movement’s favoured protest site when their demonstrations began in late 2018.

The first new ‘yellow vests’ protests last week were limited in scope, police said, and authorities do not expect a large increase in the scale of demonstrations this week – despite mounting anger on popular activists’ social media.

The French government on Thursday sought to defuse growing anger about record fuel prices, announcing a price cap on household gas until the end of 2022 and a €100 grant for people struggling with petrol price rises.

READ ALSO When and where to get the cheapest fuel in France

Meanwhile, protests against the health pass are continuing for a 15th successive week, despite falling numbers. From a high of around 250,000 marchers in the summer, 40,000 protested the pass last weekend, according to official figures, compared to 45,000 the weekend before.

The number of protests is also dwindling, police have said that about 60 events are planned across France on Saturday, compared to about 200 at the height of the marches against the pass sanitaire this summer.

Rallies are planned in Paris from 2pm, as well as cities such as Marseille, Lille, Lannion and Amiens. In Strasbourg a ‘Marche blanche et silencieuse’ is planned in support of emergency service workers who lost their jobs for refusing compulsory vaccination. 

READ ALSO French MPs agree extension of health pass until July 2022

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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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