French CVEC a qualified educational expense?

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RanranChun
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:45 am

French CVEC a qualified educational expense?

Post by RanranChun » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:02 am

My son (U.S. citizen) will be attending the American University of Paris in the fall as a freshman. He was required to register on the French government website and pay a mandatory 90 Euro (about $100 USD) CVEC fee, which is the annual "Student and Campus Life Contribution." AUP confirmed that the CVEC is a mandatory fee and enrollment at the university requires proof that the CVEC has been paid to the French government.

Any guesses as to whether this would be an eligible expense that I can use Coverdell or 529 money to pay for? Thanks.

jminv
Posts: 902
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: French CVEC a qualified educational expense?

Post by jminv » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:27 am

RanranChun wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:02 am
My son (U.S. citizen) will be attending the American University of Paris in the fall as a freshman. He was required to register on the French government website and pay a mandatory 90 Euro (about $100 USD) CVEC fee, which is the annual "Student and Campus Life Contribution." AUP confirmed that the CVEC is a mandatory fee and enrollment at the university requires proof that the CVEC has been paid to the French government.

Any guesses as to whether this would be an eligible expense that I can use Coverdell or 529 money to pay for? Thanks.
I think the problem here is the the CVEC is a mandatory charge from the French government, not from AUP. The money is not paid to AUP, which is the eligible institution. The money also goes to a general fund, not directly to the AUP, for activities, health center, etc.

IRS 970: "Related expenses. Student activity fees are included in qualified education expenses only if the fees must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance."

Since health insurance costs are not qualified expenses (and you have to have health insurance in france when you enroll), I would suggest requesting the Carte Vitale (french national health insurance card) as soon as your child reaches the 3 month residency in France point. It can be done entirely by mail. This will be free insurance so you don't have to pay for private cover for the duration, will make getting health care simpler, and will assign the student a french social security number. Once the student has the carte vitale, they can then request an EHIC card which will cover them throughout the rest of the countries in the EU as well.

http://frenchyet.com/securing-your-cart ... le-france/

Also suggest applying for APL/CAF as soon as possible to receive aid for housing expenses.

https://frenchbureaucracy.wordpress.com ... m-the-caf/

Son should also file a french tax return next year. It will get him around 200 euros a year to apply to his power bill, assuming no french income, although he could work a certain number of hours a year with the student visa/residence card. He would have to file if he worked in any case.

He needs to get a french bank account as soon as possible as you require a RIB for everything (french bank number). Usually one or several banks partner with the schools to open accounts on campus. Suggest he picks BNP Paribas as they are the most willing to work with American customers. If he is denied an account by a French bank he needs to demand a letter of refusal which he can then use to have the french government require a bank to open an account for him.

While waiting for his RIB from a french bank, he could use Lebara for phone service and can order a free sim card to arrive before he gets there. It's a cheap, month to month deal. Once he has a french bank account, Red by SFR is the best deal for cell phone service in France. Pick the 15 euro a month option that has 60gb of data a month in france, 15gb in europe and the USA (it roams in the states when he comes home for visits which is great), and allows you to call unlimited to the states.

Hope he has fun!

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