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My American boyfriend spends just under 6 months in France every year and he is just buying a holiday home there now. He is interested in spending over 6 months in the Schengen part of Europe though, so also a bit in Italy, Switzerland, perhaps Spain, Portugal, etc.

He is a permanent resident of the US and would like to keep it that way since his business is located and registered over there. He understands that if he needs to spend over 6 months in Europe, he will really need to get a visa from France since he will be spending the most of his time in Europe there. However, he still only intends spending about 5 1/2 months there and no more.

He is concerned though that if he spends over 6 months in the Schengen area of Europe, he will then be considered a French resident and be forced to pay taxes in France. I told him that I did not think this would be the case because he would not be spending over 180 days in France, but on the European continent.

So, does anyone know for sure or does anyone know a page where this information can be found?

Many thanks!
 

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Welcome to the forum.
Schengen zone is not a tax entity and the European Union is still far from becoming a confédération.
The rule for individual member countries is that if a non-résident stays 183 days or more in a year he's liable for tax in that same country.
Not easy for any administration to prove that without passport stamps, airline tickets or border controls.
I cannot point you to à text officially confirming this.
 

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The question is not whether he'll be spending 183 days a year in France, but rather if he meets the French requirements for being "tax resident" in France.

Under Article 4 B CGI, persons are deemed to be domiciled in France for tax purposes if:

  • their home is in France
  • their main place of abode is in France
  • they carry on a professional activity in France, salaried or not, unless they can prove that it is a secondary activity
  • they have the centre of their economic interests in France
This is from the French Fisc publication 1006 - a description of the French tax system in English. Generally speaking, you only need to meet one of the criteria to be considered tax resident. If someone is present for at least 183 days in a year in France, it's "presumed" that they are tax resident (i.e. unless they can come up with some pretty good reason why they aren't).
Cheers,
Bev
 
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