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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, need opinions/thoughts/advice please!
I've had a meeting today with my UK employer regarding me being a "remote" or "home worker" for them when we move to France in a few weeks. The tools are in place ie laptop, remote server access & so on, they are checking the legalities of it insurance wise and a few other areas with our company solicitors etc. They've asked me about what broadband we'll have which is where I got a bit stuck! The house we've found is in Tournefeuille, does any one know what the internet speed is like there? Also we've emailed our contact who is setting up our bills (electric phone broadband) asking what packages are available (no reply as yet....!) I'm assuming I would need an unlimited data allowance to be working on the internet all day, sorry for waffling but I thought it best to try and explain the circumstances! Does anyone else do anything like this for work?
Thanks in advance!
 

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Internet speeds vary a lot, and an FT engineer once explained to me that one factor is simply, how far your house is away from the nearest something-or-other (box with wires going into it, I forget the technical name). So your internet speed will be very similar to your nearest neighbour's but not necessarily the same as someone who lives the other side of the village.

The majority of internet packages are unlimited and include EU-wide landline phone calls, typical prices are around 35€-39€ per month.

However, if the worst comes to the worst and speed is an issue, there is always satellite broadband - more expensive but more reliable.

Speaking from experience, the worst thing about taking your UK work to France is that French cotisations are so much higher than UK NICs that either you have to hike up your fees, which makes you uncompetitive in UK terms, or you leave your fee the same and take the hit, which means that in real terms your income drops quite signficantly. Or if your employer is really nice, maybe they'll compromise :fingerscrossed:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Euro Trash, thanks for the reply! at the moment they are looking at a 3 or 6 month fixed term contract so far, essentially until they fully train up my replacement I guess!
From what I can gather I can pay UK NIC etc for 12 months, it's something I'm hoping they've checked with the company advisors (accounts/solicitors) I'm fortunate that I don't "need" to carry on working but I'm choosing to whilst we adjust to our new surroundings, my other half is Airbus employed so covered healthcare wise etc, I think more research is definitely required though!
With regards to internet etc thanks for the info, I'm not sure how I'd find out how far we are from the "exchange" I'm sure there must be a way though! Thanks again!
 

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Hi, yes that is correct, if it's a temporary secondment your company should be able to get you an S1 and you will continue paying NICs.

If you know the previous phone number at the property you can do a speed test, eg here, it tells you exactly how far away from the exchange (thanks for supplying the word!) you are and what speed you can expect.
 

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Basically, with the phone number of the previous occupant of the house you're talking about ADSL service - and the site EuroTrash has cited will tell you if you can get ADSL service at your new place (and "degroupé" or not). Depending on what sort of work you're doing remotely, it should be adequate. (Certainly is for our business.)

But you do want to check out the cotisation situation (i.e. social insurances) with the local tax office. There have been some conflicts between what various UK companies and their legal staff contend is "legal" and what the French expect of newly arrived residents.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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If you have a valid A1 (not S1, my bad) it means HMRC has considered your application and decided the NHS will cover your healthcare in France, and CPAM isn't going to question it. If they wanted to challenge it they would have to take issue with HMRC over the decision, not with you or your company (assuming all the correct information was given on the application form). Tax is a different matter, that will presumably be payable in France.

I think the problems arise when companies decide for themselves that they are entitled but don't bother actually applying for an A1, they just keep paying NICs without telling HMRC that the worker is abroad. The arrangement needs to be rubberstamped by HMRC to make it official and protect everybody.
 

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Internet speeds vary a lot, and an FT engineer once explained to me that one factor is simply, how far your house is away from the nearest something-or-other (box with wires going into it, I forget the technical name). So your internet speed will be very similar to your nearest neighbour's but not necessarily the same as someone who lives the other side of the village.
And go down hill on Wednesdays when the kids are out of school:Cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone! I'll speak to my boss again Monday to ensure they've sorted the tax situation! Potentially more complicated as I'm renting out a UK house too so my brain is a bit frazzled at the moment with HMRC!! Not looking forward to another 45 minute wait that's for sure!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the info everyone I must admit I'm getting a tad stressed with the whole situation regarding tax! HMRC weren't overly helpful, I'm having a few days just focusing on the packing and I'll resume my investigations!
 

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It's not just about tax or health care.

To work in France, even remotely via the internet - work is work - then it has to be through a proper and legally established business entity and in essence that means one of two things:

Either going self employed in France

or your employer setting up an office in France to employ you, an expensive undertaking and not something any employer is likely to entertain for 6 months !

Beware of what UK accountants solicitors and other 'experts' there tell you because 9 times out of 10 they have no real understanding of the French side of things and therefore only consider the legalities from their own perspective.

Your company can only second you if they have a French entity to second you to !
 

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It's actually not necessary for the employer to set up an office, they can pay cotisations without.
Urssaf.fr - Espace Employeurs
That's not complicated, but the other potential options are.
It is possible to stay under the UK umbrella if it's a temporary secondment and certain conditions are met, this is generally the case for seasonal workers.
It is also possible for a self-employed person to carry out work in France that is in addition to and ancillary to their ongoing work in the UK. If HMRC decides this is the case they'll issue the necessary form.
The devil is in the detail - factors that seem insignificant to the uninitiated can affect the tax authorities' decision one way or the other.
 

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Just to add to EuroTrash's reply, though, your employer should be talking not only to the HMRC people, but also to the French tax office. We've had a number of cases through here of people who set everything up just fine with the UK authorities to work in France but pay their taxes to the UK. When they got to France, however, it seems the French had completely different ideas about the arrangement.

Be sure both sides are covered.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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