Tax obligations in Monaco: What every resident needs to know

Choosing Monaco as your place of residence is an excellent strategic move if you want to retain more of your wealth thanks to its zero income and wealth tax policies. But as Audrey Michelot explains, there are other obligations that every resident in Monaco should be aware of. 

With over 17 years experience dealing with both Monegasque and French tax laws, Audrey Michelot certainly knows the ins and outs of domestic and international tax matters. 

As a Counsel in the CMS Monaco tax team, she assists Monegasque residents and non-residents in the legal and tax structuring of their investments in Monaco and other jurisdictions as well as their wealth and estate planning.

Given Monaco’s unique tax landscape, Monaco Life spoke to Audrey Michelot about the key considerations for individuals seeking to optimise their financial planning and how best to handle international tax obligations. 

Monaco Life: Can you outline the basic taxes that Monaco residents are obligated to pay and how residency status affects tax liabilities in Monaco? 

Audrey Michelot: For individuals residing in Monaco, the main characteristic is that there is no direct taxation, which means there is no personal income tax, no local tax, no withholding tax, no wealth tax… Basically, no tax for individuals in Monaco either on the salary income they receive or in terms of wealth. 

There is also no tax residency definition under the internal rules in Monaco like there is in other countries. 

In 2016, Monaco implemented CRS rules that defined the notion of a ‘Monaco resident’. They are: the individual must have their main domicile in Monaco, that is, to be here for more than 183 days a year; or they must have their home in Monaco; or they must have Monaco as the main location of their business activities. This is taxable criteria that can be found, for instance, in domestic tax rules in other countries or in the double tax treaty. 

In 2020, the Monaco government updated, modified and clarified the rules to state that in order to be regarded as a Monaco tax resident, for the purpose of other jurisdictions, you can ask for a tax certificate. This is now issued on the basis of these three criteria.

The individual can send this certificate to other jurisdictions to confirm they are a Monaco resident. 

But even with this certificate, we advise our clients to be careful. Considering Monaco has signed only a few double tax treaties, there is always a risk of being considered a resident in Monaco and a resident in another jurisdiction. The tax authorities of those other countries will check and try by various means to continue to tax you. 

Audrey Michelot, Counsel in the CMS Monaco tax team

Has there been an increase in the number of checks being done by tax authorities in other countries? 

In the past few years, I have witnessed more inquiries from foreign authorities when people leave a country and relocate to Monaco, in order to confirm that they are in fact a true resident of the Principality. 

With Monaco’s unique real estate market, what specific tax considerations should residents be mindful of when buying, selling or owning property within Monaco? 

For an individual who has a lease agreement in Monaco, there is a 1% registration duty, assessed on the annual rent plus the charges, which – given the unique property prices here – could be a significant amount. 

For an individual who wants to purchase a property in Monaco, they will have to pay notary fees, which are approximately 1.5%. They must also pay registration duties, and this amount depends on who the buyer is. For an individual or Monaco civil company (SCP), it is 4.75% of the acquisition price. If it’s a foreign entity or a Monaco entity other than in the form of an SCP, the tax rate increases to 7.5%, and could be as high as 10% if the entity does not comply with the disclosure of information regarding the identity of the shareholders. 

In 2011, Monaco created a law called #1,381, which means that offshore entities and Monaco entities other than in the form of an SCP must appoint a tax representative to file an annual declaration of change or absence of change of beneficial owners. A change of beneficial owner attracts a 4.75% tax. 

Today, tax authorities are carrying out more and more audits to ensure that these entities are complying with this obligation, and that there are no inaccuracies, non-filings or under-valued declarations. 

Monaco is currently under the spotlight following the January 2023 Moneyval report and recommendations. What impact has this had?

Today, our clients are aware of their obligations to comply with Monaco’s rules. Perhaps we will see an increase in tax audits, and reassessments, but eventually, when everyone keeps the rules in mind, it will be more straightforward. 

What taxes are associated with selling a property in Monaco? 

There is no capital gains tax in Monaco, which is important to know, and no registration tax on the sale. 

How does taxation differ for Monaco residents who own real investments in neighbouring France? 

French regulations are completely different. As soon as you have property in France, you should expect to be taxed. 

France has higher registration duties and notary fees, which are approximately 8%. 

Rental activity is also subject to income tax in France, since the property is located in France. 

With regards to a sale, the seller is subject to capital gains tax, which could be as high as 36.2% (19% income tax + 17.2% social contributions). Then, there is an allowance depending on duration of ownership. After 22 years, an individual is fully exempt from paying income tax, and totally exempt from paying social contributions after 30 years of holding. 

Meanwhile, because Monaco is not part of the EU, the seller must appoint a tax representative in France who will be in charge of filing and paying the capital gains tax. Of course, this comes with fees.

What about wealth tax?

Individuals who have a property in France may be subject to wealth tax. As soon as the net value of the property exceeds €1.3 million, on January 1st, they need to file. They will not receive any requests from the tax authorities to do this, it is an obligation of the individual. 

For example, if you brought a property for €500,000 about 10 to 15 years ago, there’s a good chance the fair market value of your property has increased and possibly exceeded €1.3 million today. You must be aware of the development of the real estate property market in the area, and it’s a good idea to have an evaluation from a real estate expert every five years in order to know if your property is under this €1.3 million threshold. 

Because if you do not file a wealth tax declaration in France and you are eligible, tax authorities there can claim as far back as six years, and you may have to pay the wealth tax for this period also, as well as penalties and late interest. So it can potentially be very substantial. 

The French Riviera seaside town of Eze, photo by Cassandra Tanti, Monaco Life

What declaration responsibilities are there in France on property? 

The French government has now opened the tax period, so keep in mind that if you receive any French income, you will have to file this online by 23rd May (21st May by paper). The same applies to wealth tax. If you hold a property in France through a Monaco civil company (SCP), there is the annual tax return, #2,072, which has be to filed online by 18th May. You may also have to file the annual three tax returns by 15th May, which is also online. 

Is it easy for individuals to do? 

To be honest, it’s quite complicated, because there are specific rules. More so, if you miss the deadline you can be subject to a 10% penalty, plus the interest. 

Last year, the French government introduced a new obligation called déclaration d’occupation, so you now have to also declare who is using the property in France and declare any changes by July of each year. There are so many obligations, it is easy for individuals to forget about some of them. 

For Monaco residents looking to structure their foreign assets, are there any bilateral double tax treaties in place that can mitigate potential tax burdens?

Monaco has signed approximately 12 double tax treaties as well as agreements regarding the exchange of information. Of the two most important double tax treaties, the first is with France, specifically for French nationals, and the second is with Luxembourg. 

The French double tax treaty is very specific because it’s designed to prevent French nationals from avoiding to pay income tax and wealth tax in France. There are eight specific exemptions for French nationals, including having lived in Monaco for more than five years or being married to a Monegasque.

The double tax treaty with Luxembourg and Monaco, meanwhile, avoids double taxation and is therefore very interesting for anyone wanting to operate and have a business activity in Monaco or Luxembourg.

With regards to transfer of assets during life or after death, what are the key tax implications for Monaco residents? Are there any estate planning strategies that people should consider to minimise tax liabilities? 

Yes, because becoming a Monaco resident is financially interesting with regards to income tax, wealth tax and the tax you pay on your investments. But there is a tax on the transfer of assets. The main characteristic in Monaco is the gift tax and inheritance tax, which are only levied on Monaco-located assets or with their situs in Monaco, regardless of the nationality of the donor/defunct or the beneficiary. Authorities do not take into account the residency status, they only assess this tax on the location of the assets. 

Secondly, gift inheritance tax is levied on the relationship you have between the donor/defunct and the beneficiary, so there is no inheritance gift tax between spouses and between direct lines, for example between parents and children or grandparents and grandchildren. 

For individuals in a cohabitation contract, there is a 4% tax; between siblings, it’s 8%; between aunt/uncles and nephew/nieces, it is 10%; between unrelated individuals, it is 16%, which is generous considering in France it is 60%.

For individuals who make a transfer of assets into a foreign trust (which has not been set up or transferred to the Principality of Monaco), Monaco has recognised the relationship between the settlor and the beneficiary since 2022. 

Monaco residents must consider what they will do with their assets in order to mitigate the tax impact. 

Port Grimaud, photo by Cassandra Tanti, Monaco Life

It is also important to consider the tax implications of foreign assets. Real estate property in France, for example, can attract inheritance tax, and then people have to check whether a double tax treaty applies to their situation, etc. 

So, we always recommend clients to analyse the tax impact of their asset at the project stage. Real estate could be a nice gift for the next generation, but if they need to pay the taxes, they may be forced to sell the asset in question.

So is Monaco a tax haven? 

It is not a tax haven, because there is gift inheritance tax and registration duties on any immovable transfer, which can be significant. If you have any business activity, you can be subject to corporate income tax of 25%, applicable to any commercial or industrial activity in Monaco with a turnover of more than 25% generated outside Monaco.

In summary, is it financially interesting for somebody to become a resident of Monaco? 

For individuals, there is no direct taxation – no income tax on foreign or Monaco incomes, and no wealth tax on investment properties like there is in Switzerland, France and Luxembourg, for example. So yes, if you look at all of the countries neighbouring Monaco, they all have direct taxation. 

But it is important to keep in mind that, while you are not subject to direct taxation, you do have to comply with the rules and reporting obligations. But this is the current global context, not just Monaco. 

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Main photo by Cassandra Tanti, Monaco Life


Stunning results achieved at luxury car auctions by Artcurial Motorcars, RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams

Against the backdrop of the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco, a celebrated motorsports event that only happens once every two years, a number of important car auctions have been held in the Principality in recent days.  

The first was the Artcurial Motorcars’ presentation and subsequent auction of The W Collection on 9th May at the Fairmont Hotel. This incredible 44-car collection, curated by Swedish connoisseur Staffan Wittmark over many years, was an incredible success, with 100% of the lots selling for a combined €30 million.  

See more: From Stockholm to Monaco: Artcurial Motorcars to auction The W Collection

Among the highlights were two exceptional Ferrari models: a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB, which sold for €5,530,000, and a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California LWB, which commanded €5,186,800. In all, nine cars were sold for more than €1,000,000 each and the sale established five world auction records and one European record. 

Matthieu Lamoure, Director General of Artcurial Motorcars, commented on the event’s achievements: “The total success of this sale is the result of Artcurial Motorcars’ ability to manage the dispersal of entire collections expertly.” 

Bonhams held its auction the following day, on 10th May, at the iconic Villa La Vigie. 

The total sales at ‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’ amounted to €5,949,811, with 46 lots sold out of 70. 

The top listing at the Bonhams auction was the 1956 Maserati A6G/2000 Coupe, which sold for €931,500, surpassing its estimate. Other notable sales included the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Crown Edition, which sold for €506,000, and the 1958 Porsche 356A T2 Speedster, which went for €327,750. 

The special 2012 smart fortwo from Sir Roger Moore’s personal collection fetched an impressive €31,943 despite an original estimate of €5,000 without reserve. 

Sir Roger Moore’s 2012 smart fortwo sold for almost €32,000 despite its original estimate of just €5,000. Photo by Monaco Life

The Grimaldi Forum hosted two consecutive days of auctions by RM Sotheby’s on 10th and 11th May that featured a full 118 lots, 11 of which were sourced from former Formula 1 driver Jody Scheckter’s private collection.  

Jody Scheckter (left) is pictured at the RM Sotheby’s auction, which was held at the Grimaldi Forum. Photo credit: RM Sotheby’s

Among the biggest sales at this event was a 1979 Ferrari 312 T4, which ultimately sold for a jaw-dropping €7,655,000, and a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider by Scaglietti, which went for €3,436,250.  

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Main photo credit: Artcurial Motorcars

Photos: New Aviator Lounge by Bombardier opens at the Yacht Club de Monaco

bombardier lounge

Bombardier, a name long synonymous with luxury and innovation, has inaugurated a sophisticated new space within the Yacht Club de Monaco that both promotes the heritage of the legendary aviation brand and seeks to tempt the custom of an affluent clientele.  

The new Aviator Lounge by Bombardier on the harbour level of the Yacht Club de Monaco is part of a new rebranding strategy that is hoping to renergise the reputation and renown of a company with more than eight decades of expertise in the aviation industry. 

Prince Albert II of Monaco attended the opening of the new space on 9th May, cutting the ribbon alongside Pierre Beaudoin, Chairman of the Board at Bombardier, and other notable figures from the Principality.  

From left to right: Emmanuel Bornand, Vice President of International Sales at Bombardier; Pierre Beaudoin, Chairman of the Board at Bombardier; Prince Albert II of Monaco; Hélène Robitaille, Beaudoin’s wife; and Dr. Diane Vachon, Honorary Consul General of Monaco in Montréal and Ottawa, Permanent Representative at ICAO and President of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in Canada. Photo credit: Bombardier / Lyvans Boolaky

At the launch, the Prince was invited to explore the history and legacy of Bombardier through the ages. It is an approach that will be extended to all guests in the central ‘nest’ area of the Lounge.  

“The company is very humble, although it has a global success and is leading in its category. This is not about bragging; this is about not being afraid to tell the world the story that’s being told; it’s all about being a confident brand,” Eve Laurier, Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Public Affairs at Bombardier, tells Monaco Life. 

The Lounge was designed by architect Andrea Mosca, who drew on the minimalist aesthetics and smooth curves of Bombardier aircraft as sources of inspiration. It includes a display of models of Bombardier’s most iconic jets, and the space has been built in a way that shares the narrative of the brand’s history of innovation and sustainability efforts.  

From a welcome desk that represents Bombardier’s unique wing designs to photography exhibits showcasing the company’s research and development over the decades, it is an immersive experience that seeks to spotlight the company’s commitments to sustainability and its technological innovations.  

The new Aviator Lounge by Bombardier can be found on the harbour level of the Yacht Club de Monaco. Photo credit: Bombardier

“We let the perfection of our mastery and our products do the work for themselves,” says Laurier. “People value our family heritage, our family story. Everything truly lies in the experience and how we treat our customer from the beginning to the end.” 

The Lounge is part of Bombardier’s new rebranding strategy, which includes significant investment in global expansion efforts. By establishing a physical presence in Monaco, Bombardier is seeking to tap into a market of affluent clientele who wish to experience travel aboard the Bombardier Global 7500 or the Challenger 3500, among other choice crafts.  

“We are immensely proud to reaffirm our presence in the region with the opening of the magnificent new Aviator Lounge by Bombardier, the first tailor-made space of this kind by any jet manufacturer,” says Emmanuel Bornand, Vice President of International Sales at Bombardier. 

Bombardier by Assouline 

Attendees at the inauguration were treated to an exclusive preview of ‘Bombardier’, the latest masterpiece from publishing house Assouline. 

This stunning book recounts the 80 plus years of Bombardier as an international and yet resolutely family enterprise, and contains captivating visuals and insights into this legacy.  

A snapshot of the sleek ‘Bombardier’ book by Assouline. Photo credit: Bombardier

The first edition took 18 months to produce, and copies will be available for 1,200 from June 2024.  


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Photo credit: Bombardier

Monaco delegation sent to OECD tax transparency forum

monaco OECD

Cross-border information sharing processes, whether automatic or on request, were high on the agenda at the recent Global Forum Competent Authorities Conference, which was hosted by the international Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Barbados earlier this month. 

Between 6th and 7th May, representatives from Monaco’s Department of Finance and the Economy headed to the Caribbean island of Barbados for the OECD’s 11th Global Forum Competent Authorities Conference. 

Some 200 delegates from around world attended the multi-faceted event, which is recognised as the leading international forum on the “implementation of the standards on transparency and exchange of information on request (EOIR) and automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI), as well as other essential aspects of international tax co-operation, such as cross-border assistance in tax collection or confidentiality requirements in the exchange of information”. 

Essentially, the forum’s mandate is to ensure that jurisdictions around the world adhere to and effectively implement the free flow exchange of information. These objectives are achieved through a robust monitoring and peer review process.

The Global Forum also runs an extensive capacity-building programme to support its members in implementing these standards and help tax authorities make the best use of cross-border information sharing channels. 

“We are very grateful to Barbados and its Revenue Authority for hosting this year’s conference,” said Zayda Manatta, the head of the Global Forum Secretariat. “We will continue to work with all Competent Authorities to further advance the full and effective implementation of the EOI standards, so that all 171 Global Forum member jurisdictions and their citizens ultimately benefit from our collective efforts for fairer tax systems.” 

Among the topics covered at the event were the latest developments within the OECD’s new Cryptoasset Reporting Standard, the revised Common Reporting Standard and amendments to the exchange of information standards stemming from new clarifications to Article 26 of the model tax convention 

Article 26 states that the authorities of the Contracting States must exchange such information as is foreseeably relevant for carrying out the provisions concerning taxes of any kind.  

For more information, click here.  

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Photo source: Monaco Communications Department

A guide to Pilates and yoga studios in and around Monaco

From studios with sea views to serene wellness suites in high-end facilities, Monaco Life explores the flourishing Pilates and yoga scene in the Principality and its neighbouring towns. 

The Tour Odéon on Avenue de l’Annonciade is home to the Powerhouse Pilates Centre. All of the teachers here are certified by the Federation of Pilates Method Professionals. The five-star centre runs both private and group sessions, and access to the latest equipment and Pilates reformers. For more information on classes and tariffs, click here.

The Pilates Monaco studio was founded in 2011. Located at the Palais de la Scala on Avenue Henry Dunant, the instructors at this establishment are BASI qualified. The programmes at Pilates Monaco focus largely on spinal mobility, making this site a good choice for those looking to relieve back issues and pressures. Prices start at €55 per person for a 50-minute session. Click here for more information.

Chorus Corpus in the Jardin Exotique neighbourhood blends Pilates techniques with those of yoga and dance. The studio is run by Claire Amato Marsan and offers an array of different programmes, from Pilates Matwork to Barre Fusion and Active Body Ballet. The combination of cardio and Pilates’ low impact approach provides a full-body sculpting experience. To find out more, click here.  

The Chorus Corpus studio is located in the Jardin Exotique neighbourhood in Monaco. Photo source: Chorus Corpus, Facebook

The unique Pilates studio of Geko in Roquebrune Cap Martin has arguably the best view of all the venues to feature in this list. Located in an idyllic property surrounded by olive trees and with a vista out over the Mediterranean, students here revel in the natural and bright setting. As well as Pilates, Geko offers yoga classes on a balcony that overlooks the Roquebrune peninsula and its founder, Celia Hamouda, also provides holistic consultations and special experiences, such as her Full Moon ceremony. Reservations can be made through the Geko Instagram page.  


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A post shared by Geko Pilates Studio (@geko_pilates)

Bodi Pilates on Beausoleil’s Boulevard de la République is a multi-faceted health and wellness space that offers yoga classes also prenatal and postnatal sessions alongside its primary Pilates workshops. For more information, click here

There are two Pilates studios in Cap d’Ail: one is Studio Danse Pilates Charlotte in the port area and the second is part of the World Class gym on Avenue Marquet, which can be contacted here.  

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Main photo source: Geko 

Jordane Saget presents ‘Racing Lines: From Streets to Canvas’ at Monaco’s Kamil Art Gallery

In a first for the Parisian street artist, Jordane Saget is bringing his unique style of art indoors for a Formula 1 inspired exhibition at the Kamil Art Gallery: ‘Racing Lines: From Streets to Canvas’. 

Locals in the Principality will no doubt have already encountered Saget’s distinctive chalk ‘lifelines’. In April, the artist was invited to display his signature curving lines out on the streets, walls, windows and walkways of Monte-Carlo. and Saget also collaborated with Mada One’s top pastry chef to design a range of exclusive Easter eggs featuring his seemingly eternal patterns.  

See more: Jordane Saget decorates the streets of Monte-Carlo with his distinctive ‘lifelines’

Now, for the first time, the artist is exhibiting his new Formula 1 themed collection at the Kamil Art Gallery on Monaco’s Avenue Princesse Grace.  

The collection, which is called ‘Racing Lines: From Streets to Canvas’, captures the essence of Saget’s street art in a more permanent form. The series of canvases take their inspiration from the pulse of speed and the thrill of racing found at Monaco’s most iconic sporting event, the Grand Prix.  

Each line in Saget’s artistic vision possesses a unique and spontaneous character, adapting to its surroundings, much like the skilled pilots of Formula 1, who must adjust their trajectory with each twist and turn of the legendary street circuit. 

“This is the first time I am doing an exhibition with a theme, so it has been a lot of work, but also a rewarding journey,” Saget tells Monaco Life.  

Another change for the artist is the heightened sense of ownership. Over the years, Saget has produced nearly 2,000 artworks in Paris and has come to Monaco to work with Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer four times, among other collaborations. 

But while his lines are clearly his work, he doesn’t usually leave his signature behind.  

“My name does not belong to these lines as these lines are supposed to integrate into urban areas and be accessible to everyone,” he says. 

But here in the Kamil Art Gallery, Saget is given full recognition. The exhibition marks a transitional chapter in his artistic journey, a move that takes his art from a public setting to a private space.  

“Monaco is a little jewel so it’s such an honour to display my lines here,” he tells Monaco Life. “My favourite memory is drawing these lines on the pontoon at the Monte-Carlo Beach Club. Everyone in Paris is saying I should just move to Monaco already. It really is a place of the heart.” 

‘Racing Lines: From Streets to Canvas’ opened on 8th May at the Kamil Art Gallery. It will remain on display until 31st May.  


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Photo by Monaco Life