The PEA or Plan d’Epargne en Actions is a stock market investment package with a significant tax advantage. Find out here about its operation, its types, its taxation, the people and titles that can benefit from it.
The Patrimonial Savings Plan (PEA) is a savings-investment product that has a double purpose. On the one hand, it guarantees the acquisition and management of a portfolio of European equities; on the other hand, it allows you to benefit from a tax exemption. Let’s find out in detail what this very popular financial instrument is, how it works, who it is for, the securities it allows you to invest in, and how to open and close it.
Definition of the PEA: how does it work?
The PEA is a savings product used tostock market investment. It appeared for the first time in 1992. Intended for individuals with tax domicile in France, the PEA allows the management of a securities portfolio with exemption from payment of income tax (under certain conditions).
In general, this is how a Capital Savings Plan works:
- It consists of a securities account and a cash account.
- The subscriber makes payments on the account in cash. These payments allow the acquisition of securities eligible for the PEA.
- Payments can be made at any time.
- These payments must be in cash (cash, check, transfer) and have the limit indicated below.
- Transfer of titles is prohibited.
- The withdrawal of the PEA can be made in a life annuity or in capital.
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What are the types of PEA?
Although it primarily allows you to invest in shares of European companies, the PEA exists in four main forms (or types):
The classical bank PEA
In particular, it allows you to buy shares of French and European companies. The bank PEA payment limit is €150,000;
The classic PEA insurance
It is also called a capitalization PEA because, in terms of form, the insurance PEA is similar to a unit-linked capitalization contract. It combines the advantages of the classic PEA and the capitalization contract. It is underwritten by an insurance company. The amount of the payment ceiling is the same as with the PEA bank, that is, €150,000;
It is a kind of securities account that allows you to invest up to €225,000 in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Intermediate-Sized Enterprises (ETI). This savings product is created by the Finance Law of 2014.
In addition to these 3 main types of Capital Savings Plans, there is the Young AEP, which is a classic PEA (banking or insurance) intended for children of legal age and assigned to the parents’ fiscal domicile. It is capped at €20,000 until the embargo ends.
Thus, there are several types of PEA and for the same type, the financial institutions that offer them are numerous, offer various services and charge different rates. This is why it is important compare PEA, to choose the one that best suits your preferences and requirements (in terms of rates, services and conditions).
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What is the taxation of the Plan d’Epargne in Actions?
The PEA is best known for its tax advantages, which have also improved since 2019. Since that year, you no longer have to wait 8 years to benefit from an income tax (IR) exemption while maintaining your plan, but 5 years only.
In short, from a tax point of view, capital gains, products and income linked to the PEA are not not taxable in IR if the plan is maintained for at least 5 years. Below is a summary of the taxation applicable to the PEA:
- The plan holding period begins with the first payment.
- Any withdrawal made when the plan has been maintained for less than 5 years results in the taxation of profits / rents / capital gains at the rate of 12.8% or according to the progressive scale. Such withdrawal also entails the closure of the plan (it is no longer possible to make contributions to it), except in exceptional cases (invalidity, dismissal, etc.).
- Any withdrawal made after 5 years of having the plan benefits from an income tax exemption on profits/proceeds/capital gains. After such withdrawal, it is still possible to make payments into the plan.
- Social security contributions (17.2%) are always due on withdrawal or closure, regardless of the length of detention.
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What securities are eligible for the PEA?
Unlike the traditional securities account, the PEA allows you to invest only in the following securities:
- Listed or unlisted shares of companies established in the European Union or in a State of the European Economic Area and subject to corporation tax;
- investment certificates;
- cooperative investment certificates;
- mutual certificates;
- Securities issued by crowdfunding platforms;
- Venture Capital Mutual Fund Stocks, etc.
Who can open a PEA?
Opening a PEA account is not possible for non-residents for tax purposes, for expatriates, much less for legal entities. only the natural persons with tax domicile in France can open a PEA.
However, any natural person, not resident in France, with a PEA opened in France, can keep it. Leaving France does not in any way mean the closure of your PEA. On the other hand, the PEA account can only havea single headline. There can only be one PEA per person.
However, the same person can have different PEA envelopes. Therefore, it is impossible for the spouses to have a joint account with this envelope. Parents can subscribe to a PEA Jeune for their children, if they are of legal age and linked to the same tax household.
Plan d’Epargne in Actions: and the closure?
Closing a PEA can be done anytime. In the event of closure, you can take the money invested in stocks and bonds and reinvest it elsewhere.
You can close your PEA to create or take control of a business, in case of dismissal or early retirement or in case of disability or to withdraw securities related to companies in liquidation. It is also possible to perform partial withdrawal of your PEA without having to close it, even if the holding period is less than 5 years. It is also possible transfer your PEA with another bank, another broker, etc.
Before you consider closing your PEA, you must first take care of check holding periodbecause the imposition of this operation depends on said duration and on certain conditions relating to the subscriber.
In addition to the taxes that apply to PEA earnings, there are closing costs contained in the original contract. Therefore, it is important to check with the organization with which you signed up for your PEA. The maximum amount of PEA exit fees set by the Pact Law is €150.
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