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May 05, 2009

France to recognize foreign gay marriages and DPs as PACs

The French National Assembly has passed a bill, passed by the Senate last month, that will recognize  foreign legal same-sex marriages/unions/partnerships as PACs. PACs are the French version of an alternative legal status for relationships.  Unlike most such laws, PACs are open to both straight and gay couples. Gay couples in France cannot marry, however. The new law is a step forward in providing equality for gay EU citizens who want to relocate without losing recognition of their marriages.

President Sarkozy now must either "promulgate" the bill into law or return it to the Assembly for "further consideration." French law does not permit him to veto it. From UK Gay News:

The passing of the measure in the French National Assembly was welcomed in Brussels where both the European Union and the European Parliament had been pressing the French Government to recognise the legal status of same-sex couples who had registered their partnerships in another country.

“We have been calling for this for some time,” said president of the European Parliament’s all-party ‘intergroup’ on gay and lesbian rights. “I am looking forward to similar moves in other countries and eventually hope that same sex partnerships and marriages will be recognised throughout all 27 Member States of the EU.”

Currently, same-sex couples with legal partnerships or marriages registered in other countries, had not of the benefits of same-sex, or opposite-sex, couples who had PACS. This meant that, for instance, a couple who had registered a civil partnership in the UK and lived in France had no rights as a couple – and were even subject to a higher rate of inheritance tax if one of the partners died, especially if property was owned.

The non-recognition of foreign same-sex couples by France has been a bone of contention for ex-pats from EU countries living in France as those EU countries that have same-sex relationships laws recognise PACS.

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Comments

France passed this law back in May 2009 - article 515-7-1 in the civil code now recognises all foreign civil partners in France. Gay marriages, however, do not form part of this new law since gay marriages have alreayd been recognised in France for awhile - see responses by Dominique Perben former minister of justice to Mariani no 41533 JO National Assembly 26/7/05 , reponse to Masson JO Senate 9/3/06 , pg 722) . However, various ministers have to write instuctions to details how this article will apply in practice. At the moment the minister of budget has not issued an instruction fiscale and although legally we have tax rights in France , in practice without an official instruction from the relevant minister getting your rights in France is still quite a struggle. This website may help, however, if you are struggling getting the French tax office to accept articel 515-7-1

http://www.senateursdesfrancaisdumonde.net/richard-yung/activite-parlementaire/1225/exoneration-des-droits-de-mutation-lors-du-deces-d-un-partenaire-lie-par-un-partenariat-civil-etranger.html

Finally fiscaL instructions laying out what tax rights foreign civil partners have in France:

http://www11.minefi.gouv.fr/boi/boi2010/cadliste.htm 7 G-2-10

BULLETIN OFFICIEL DES IMPÔTS
N° 6 DU 13 JANVIER 2010
DIRECTION GÉNÉRALE DES FINANCES PUBLIQUES
7 G-2-10
INSTRUCTION DU 30 DECEMBRE 2009
MUTATIONS A TITRE GRATUIT. TARIFS ET LIQUIDATION DES DROITS.
SITUATION DES PERSONNES AYANT CONCLU UN PARTENARIAT CIVIL A L’ETRANGER.
(LOI N° 2009-526 DU 12 MAI 2009 DE SIMPLIFICATION ET DE CLARIFICATION DU DROIT ET D’ALLEGEMENT DES
PROCEDURES, ART. 1ER)
(C.G.I., art. 777, 790 F et 796-0 bis)
NOR : ECE L 09 20726J
Bureau C 2

http://www11.minefi.gouv.fr/boi/boi2010/cadliste.htm 5 B-4-10

BULLETIN OFFICIEL DES IMPÔTS
N° 6 DU 13 JANVIER 2010
DIRECTION GÉNÉRALE DES FINANCES PUBLIQUES
5 B-4-10
INSTRUCTION DU 29 DECEMBRE 2009
IMPOT SUR LE REVENU. MODALITES D’IMPOSITION DES PERSONNES LIEES PAR UN PARTENARIAT ENREGISTRE
PAR UNE AUTORITE ETRANGERE. COMMENTAIRES DES DISPOSITIONS DE L’ARTICLE 1ER DE LA LOI DU 12 MAI 2009.
(C.G.I., art. 6)
NOR : ECE L 0920725 J
Bureau C 1

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