Real estate investment trusts (Sociétés Civiles de Placement Immobilier, SCPI)
At the end of 2015
- 166 managed SCPI;
- capitalisation: approximately 35 billion Euros;
- net annual funds: approximately 1.857 billion Euros.
SCPI are SCI that do not pay corporation tax (and do not have the option to do so) and make public offerings. As a result, they are accredited by the AMF (the French Financial Markets Authority) and are managed by a management company, which is itself AMF-accredited.
The activity of SCPI is limited (since the transposition of the AIFM directive) to purchasing or constructing real estate assets with a view to renting them out.
SCPI are regulated structures and are subject to a number of constraints, notably in terms of their levels of indebtedness, construction, purchase and resale.
In tax terms
SCPI do not pay corporation tax and their shareholders are taxed on their share of the profits, whether these are actually distributed or not, as with a SCI under ordinary law.
The SCPI enables its shareholders to benefit from the various regimes (notably “Scellier”, “Malraux” and “Duflot”) applicable to income from property. This type of SCPI is usually described as a “tax SCPI”.
Consequently, many SCPI have been put in place to enable investors who are private individuals to benefit from the various preferential tax regimes, without themselves having to suffer the management constraints imposed by these regimes (it is the SCPI and its management company that act as guarantors of compliance with the terms imposed by tax law).
Thus there are so-called “Duflot”, “Scellier”, etc. SCPIs, which enable their holders to benefit from the relevant tax regime!
Disposal of shares
Disposals of shares in SCPI are subject to the ordinary law regime:
- capital gains are taxed according to the rules applicable to capital gains on real estate; and
- registration fees are charged at the rate of 5%.