Stephanie has been a member of the Paris Bar since 1998, and a member of the IACF (French tax lawyers institute) and of IPEBLA (International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association). She is fluent in French and in English. As a tax lawyer, she is more particularly specialized in the optimization, from a tax and social security standpoint, of high level executives compensation. Stephanie worked with Slaughter and May, Baker & McKenzie and Capstan (formerly Barthélémy & Associés), a French firm specialized in employment law. She published various articles in relation to employees share schemes and Compensation & Benefits. Stéphanie advises companies on their global compensation strategy and on the implementation of share-based and profit-sharing schemes, and also high level executives in relation to the optimization of their global compensation. Stéphanie also deals with international assignments, more particularly on tax and social security aspects.
Employee Share Schemes
Implementation of Employee Share Schemes such as Stock options, Restricted Stocks/Performance Shares and BSPCE (French scheme close to warrants), adaptation of foreign schemes to French law, management of the schemes in case of restructuring, tax and social security optimisation of the use of such awards, impact of international assignment of the beneficiaries.
Management of International Assignments
Tax and social management of international assignments for outbound and inbound expatriates, split payrolls, structure of the compensation packages, of tax equalization mechanisms, personal income tax and social security contributions estimates, tax and social security optimisation of assignment packages, assistance for tax and social security declarations for employers and employees.
Structuring compensation packages for managers, more particularly with respect to their participation to the share capital, implementation of shareholding vehicles for managers, of various shareholding instruments, and of possible optimisations, organisation of the shares liquidity, negotiation of the conditions of purchase and sale of the shares by the managers.
Optimisation of executives’ compensation
Tax and social security optimisation of employees and corporate officers’ compensation, structuring of global compensation policies, cost estimates of compensation items, implementation of foreign travel premiums mecanisms, benefits in kind, deferred compensation schemes, optimisation of termination indemnities, tax and social security management of compensation items, for the employer and the employees.
Pensions & Benefits
Implementation of occupational contingency (health insurance) and pension plans, management of the tax and social security aspects of such types of schemes.
Personal tax issues for mobile employees
Advice on specific issues related to taxation of deferred compensation items (bonuses, share-based plans, pensions schemes...) in cross-border situations, management of repatriation issues, assistance for the establishment of residents and non-residents tax returns.
The Amending Finance Bill for 2010 created a withholding tax which applies to profits made by non-residents on share-option gains, free shares and BSPCEs (stock warrants for business creators). But far from fulfilling the intention stated in parliament of “resolving the difficulties” of applying the existing law to this type of profits, the new withholding tax system proves to cause many technical contradictions and practical difficulties.
Taxation of the gains derived from stock options in a cross-border context has been a debated question for several years on the international scene. However, France, unlike other European countries, has not yet taken a stand in this area. The French Supreme Administrative Court (“Conseil d’Etat”) has just partly settled the debate in a decision dated March 17, 2010, in accordance with the guidelines developed by the OECD since 2004.
Exceptional tax on bonuses paid by French banks and investment institutions (Corrective Finance Bill for 2010)
The French Parliament adopted on March 9 the Corrective Finance Bill for 2010, which creates an exceptional 50% tax on variable compensations paid to some of their employees by bank institutions.
The French Supreme Court confirmed for the first time, in a decision dated October 21, 2009 (n°08-42.026, Nebon-Carle c/ Sté Acxiom France), that section L. 1331-2 of the French labour code related to prohibited financial sanctions applies to stock-options.
Circular of the French social security direction dated July 10, 2009 in relation to the new social security treatment of some termination indemnities.
Non approval of a regulated agreement by the Shareholders meeting does not trigger nullity of the agreement.
The French tax authorities published on July 30, 2009 a tax circular related to the impatriates regime, as amended by the law dated August 4, 2008. Here are the main additional information given by this circular.
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