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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI everyone,

I may need to talk to a tax attorney about this here in France but this will be the first year I have to file.

I keep on reading that US persons do not have to pay French CGS/CGDS because of the tax agreement with the US. But does that mean that I cannot register for a French national health insurance? And how does that work with social security?

Totally confused- any insight would be great.

Thanks!
 

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OK - what sort of visa are you on? Or, are you an EU national? I take it from your question that you are retired in France.

US persons don't have to pay CSG/CRDS on their pensions (at least not on their US pension - i.e. US Social Security). And if you're retired in France and a "US person" then, no, you normally can't register for the French national health insurance. (Carrying a private health insurance is one of the requirements of your visa and/or carte de séjour.)

If you are receiving a state pension from Italy and thus would be entitled to Italian health coverage, it may be possible to register in the French system (though it would be Italy actually paying for your care and treatment).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have an Italian passport, not retired.

My understanding is that I will have to pay taxes to the US but because of the tax treaty with France I would not have to pay the social charges. But I guess does that mean I have no access to French health care? It seems the French system is basically a tax where as Social Security is a (bad) pension system.
 

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Ooh, you're in a kind of "sticky" situation. It depends a bit on how much time you will be spending in France and what you'll be doing in France while you're here.

Normally, if you are "resident" in France, you pay your taxes to France. You then can claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion on your US taxes - or alternatively, take a credit against your US tax liability for all income taxes paid in France. But, if you are working in France, you are supposed to be registered with the social security agencies here and paying into the system (called "cotisations") and in that case, you would be eligible for social insurance coverage here. Depending on how you registered your business activity, figure on between 23 and about 38% of your income going for "cotisations."

You don't, however, get to choose who you pay your income taxes to. If you're residing in France, you pay to France, and thanks to the tax treaty, you report your income to the US, but shouldn't have to pay income tax (or Social Security taxes either) to the US.

There is also the issue of keeping your US Green Card if you're absent from the US for a significant period of time. Losing your green card doesn't necessarily get you off the hook with the IRS, but that's a whole 'nuther can of worms.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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