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I am a US citizen married to a French National...we are contemplating moving from US to France...my questions are:
1. Will I be able to work (I am self employed and can continue my work from France as long as I have internet and phone service)
2. Are income taxes significantly higher than US income for incomes above 100K annually?
 

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1. Yes, you will be able to work, but if you want to continue your self-employment, you'll need to set up some form of business entity for working in France. If it's a small business, the auto-entrepreneur scheme should work (though you'll pay taxes and social insurances as a flat percentage of your take, with no deductions for expenses). If it's a larger business, the registration process is a bit more complicated and includes registering with the VAT authorities and social insurances.

2. You hear people say how highly taxed the French are, but in practice it's not as noticeable as all that. In France, different sources of income are taxed in different ways, so it's hard to generalize without getting into far more detail than we can discuss here.

Income tax depends a great deal on your family size, due to the system of "parts" in place. Cotisations (social insurances) in a normal job situation run about 20 - 25% but are mostly deductible in arriving at taxable income. If you work for yourself, you pay both parts of the social insurances and those can run much higher (45% +).

Then, figure that the French government's main source of revenue is not income tax but rather the VAT. And you pay VAT based on how much you spend, not how much you earn. (Though VAT is usually buried in the posted price, so you don't notice it as much.)

OTOH, if you tally up what you spend privately in the US for the various public services you receive here as part of your taxes, I suspect there may not be that great a difference. Think health insurance (and include the co-pays you'd pay in a normal year), retirement funding and the security of having a social safety net.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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