Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

This is my first post here, having trawled through what feels like the entirety of the internet, I'm yet to fully understand how to go about our situation. Hopefully someone here can shed some light or advice.

My boyfriend and I have had an offer accepted on an apartment in Nice and will be signing the Compromis de Vente this week. We have chosen to buy in Nice as there is plenty of work in the region for us, having spoken in depth to recruitment agencies in the area. We are both chefs who work seasonally - in ski chalets in the French Alps during winter and in the UK or occasionally mainland Europe during summer. The apartment in Nice will be our base as we do not own any property in the UK.
Our winter work is always through British chalet companies and we are always paid in GBP into UK bank accounts through PAYE system.
Our intention was to continue working for British chalet companies in France for the next few winters (late Nov-late April every year), and to work as private chefs in villas/properties in Nice and the surrounding areas over summer. We will register as auto entrepreneurs in France for our summer work as some of this will likely be paid in EUR to our French bank accounts (yet to open). We also may take work on yachts or occasionally in the UK over summer.
My questions are surrounding income tax and residency status as technically our home will be in France, and the majority of our work will be carried out in France, but most of our earnings for the next few years at least will be in GBP, with a proportion being in EUR from summer work. Have we got ourselves into a complicated tax situation - it's beginning to feel like it!

We have work in the UK for the rest of this summer, and a ski chalet job with UK company in France lined up to start in December. We are hoping to make the permanent move over to Nice in May 2018, after this winter season. The apartment will mostly be empty until that time, being used by family for occasional holidays etc.

I would love to speak to a professional who can help with our individual circumstances, as to me it seems very complicated - but I have no idea whether in reality it is or not. Would it be best to speak to someone in the UK or an English speaking professional in France (our French is limited!)

It all feels quite overwhelming which is part of the reason we're not planning to rush over there this summer, but I am very aware we need to be organising our tax/finances from day 1.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. :fingerscrossed:

Thanks,

Heather
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,417 Posts
Hi Heather,
Your situation isn't as complicated as you think it is. The key thing is to determine where you are resident (for tax purposes). Just owning a flat in France doesn't make you tax resident here - but once you are tax resident, it doesn't matter where you are being paid from, nor in what currency you are being paid.

I assume for the moment that you are resident in the UK - i.e. you live there and have been declaring and paying taxes in the UK. When you make the move to France, you will have to notify the UK tax authority of your move so that you will no longer be "tax resident" for UK purposes. The residence criteria for the UK are kind of complicated, but there is a form for notifying the tax people when you move out of the UK. For France, there are 3 criteria for tax residence - meet any one of them and you are considered tax resident in France. They are (simply put):
  • Your primary residence/home is in France.
  • You are working in or conducting a business in France.
  • Your primary centers of interest are in France. (refers to things like bank accounts, insurances, where most of your "stuff" is, address you return to regularly, etc.)

Things may seem a bit complicated at first - you will have to register with the various "cotisation" agencies in order to pay your social insurances, though that may be taken care of by your employer in France. For freelance type of work (i.e. the auto-entrepreneur thing) registering your business entity will include the necessary cotisation registrations. But you'll definitely need to work on your French so that you'll be able to use the various online resources for setting up your freelance gigs (and ultimately to declare your taxes). There isn't much available here in translation.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,271 Posts
The complication I can see is, you say you intend to "keep working for British chalet companies" being paid PAYE. You need to be careful how you proceed here as it could open a can of worms. Income tax isn't so much the problem, there are procedures to deal with that, although it can be a faff if it's deducted PAYE in the UK, and you have to pay tax in France because that's where you're tax resident and also where the work is carried out, and then claim back the tax you paid in the UK under the France/UK double taxation agreement. But the problem is going to be social security contributions and entitlements, because as a French resident working in France, French law says that you and your employer must pay cotisations on your earnings into the French social security system. The other side of the coin is that if you're no longer a UK resident and you don't physically work in the UK you're not normally entitled to remain in the NHS or be covered under the UK social security system, so you can only continue paying NICs in the UK if HMRC specifically agrees. The answer might be to work for the British chalet companies in any country except France, that seems safest to me as it would avoid the "living and working in France but not paying French cotisations" scenario, but I'm not sure exactly how you would be covered for healthcare if you do that. You need to look into that aspect carefully.

Have you discussed the move with the UK companies you work for? If not I think you should do that first. Most UK holiday operators are very well aware that employing people to work overseas can be a bit of a minefield and they will have their own policies in place on how they deal with it to make sure their backs are covered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Hi, I have a similar question with France/Belgium, and would like to know if I may ask it here or I must open a new thread?
Thank you
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,417 Posts
It's not a matter of "must" - it's more a matter of whether or not you'll attract the attention necessary to answer your question.

Basically, as I said above, it's a matter of whether or not you are establishing residence (in France, I assume). The other question (for you, potentially) is that of your nationality/residence in terms of your right to work. A residence permit in one country of the EU does not give you working rights in another EU country. (And we'll see where that goes for the original poster after Brexit.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Hello all,

I am interested in this thread. I currently live in Canada and work for a Canadian company. As I am a full-time teleworker my company is allowing me to travel outside Canada and continue to work for them. We are European citizens so have no work visa requirements. We are planning to live in France for at least 1 year. My payroll taxes and social security payments are deducted at source. even if I wanted to my company would have no intention of paying into the French social security system. I will not be performing any work for a French company or for any French clients - I will be connecting to my company Network in Canada. We are simply choosing France as a place to live for a year.
We have 2 sons - 6 & 3. We would like our 6 year-old to attend a local French school, not an International school. If we are not paying social security in France can he still attend school? What documents do French schools require to register your child?
If we purchase private healthcare does this remove the healthcare question?
Is there anybody in this forum that lives in one country while working remotely in another?
Thank you in advance for any assistance.
Gary
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,417 Posts
If you are living in France (i.e. have your main residence there) then you are subject to paying French income tax. It does not matter where your employer is located, nor what currency you are paid in, nor where your clients/customers are located. What counts is where you are located while you are doing the work.

Take a look at the sticky here on French Social Security. http://www.expatforum.com/expats/fr...ial-security-system-explained-english.htmlThe introduction page includes information about a foreign employer with no place of business in France - and they are supposed to pay into the system through a special office if they are employing someone in France. You also have the option to work "freelance" where you would register as an "independent" and then bill your employer for the work you do, paying your own social insurances and taxes. As an independent, your "cotisations" would be higher than as an employee, however if you are paying into the French system, you would be covered for health insurance (at least under the State system).

Generally speaking, your kids should be OK for enrolling in school (France tends to err on the side of making sure the kids are educated), however without the necessary documents (i.e. to prove that you are "exercising your EU rights") you will probably have all sorts of hassles living in France. You often need to show things like pay slips (i.e. that you are paying your social contributions), proof of residence, proof of insurance, etc. for simple administrative functions and that's where you'll most likely get tripped up. (Through no fault of my own, I was a "sans papiers" for nearly two years here - trust me, it is NOT fun.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts
Although my OH and I had no intention of working in France when we arrived, being early retired, simply trying to find a non-furnished place to rent, open a bank account and have access to the internet posed substantial problems when we arrived from the UK. The correct paper trail is hugely important here.
There are ways to arrange matters even without the correct paperwork, but as Bev says, it isn't at all easy and takes time, persistence and a fair amount of luck.

Sue
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,271 Posts
Complications also risk arising if/when you make an income tax declaration in France, which if you are resident here for a whole year you should. Each revenue stream for the household has to be declared in the appropriate box according to source, and awkward questions may crop up if you declare a year's salary that never touched the French system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Good Morning to all,

I have total pregnancy brain <4.5 months>! Most answers are partly in this thread, and some mild adjustments for advice in my situation; so I am just going to go along in here as the residence parts caught my attention. Also, I know from my arrival in France back in 2011, Bev is super helpful and knowledgeable. I really don’t want to waste Bevs time with repetition of factual answers. I quite enjoy the Frankness of EuroTrash <no beating around the bush - says it straight!>

Little intro, I am South African, PACS since 2011 before arrival in France to a French National, been in France for 6 years, have 10-year resident card since 2016, my 15-year old son has been schooled in France since age 9. Applied for French Nationality in March 2017, been convocated to Prefecture in August 2017. <very short amount of documents to provide, including the last 3 months payslips June and July will be Belgium based not France> However…..here comes the catch 22…

RESIDENT VS DOMICILE
Quote 1 from Bev <The key thing is to determine where you are resident (for tax purposes). Just owning a flat in France doesn't make you tax resident here - but once you are tax resident, it doesn't matter where you are being paid from, nor in what currency you are being paid>

Scenario: PACS partner has me mentioned on the L’acte de Propriété’ since purchasing in August 2011, he pays Tax Fonciéres, I have been paying Tax habitation and Impot for work etc. We have moved to Belgium this past week and can only register with the commune/city hall once we have a rental contract and permanent address. Therefore we are unable to change our address anywhere until we have the permanent address in Belgium.

How long will we stay a tax resident of France considering we have the property? Would it also apply that once you are a tax resident it doesn’t matter where you are being paid from? Would this keep our ties to France as a resident? I think from my research that only after 6 months out of France do you loose french residency...

My partners salary will be paid by a Belgium company under un régime d'imposition special <he knows about this but I don’t – Could you help explain to me please? But I do know that we go on Belgium social security and not the French one anymore which affects me how?

Quote 2 from Bev < For France, there are 3 criteria for tax residence - meet any one of them and you are considered tax resident in France. They are (simply put):
• Your primary residence/home is in France. <This would or wouldn’t apply as we are homeowners but living in member state due to work mission?
• You are working in or conducting a business in France. <I am still registered as an autotropeneur – maybe I could continue some skype classes and continue declaring to URSRAFF even though its not face to face English classes?>
• Your primary centers of interest are in France. (refers to things like bank accounts, insurances, where most of your "stuff" is, address you return to regularly, etc.)
<all our bank accounts, insurances etc are still in France……? On returning regularly I don’t know, we have an agent taking care of the rental of the property>

Looking forward to your comments.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,417 Posts
One this about France is that they aren't nearly as "legalistic" as some other places.

In determining your "home" or main residence, what they are looking for is the place you return to regularly and where you keep most of your "stuff" (i.e. belongings, clothing, etc.). Just the fact of owning property in France does not make you resident - though you should file a French tax return for the year in which you move, giving your date of change of address. I think the way it works, you'll only be "redevable" (i.e. on the hook for declaring and paying French taxes) up until your date of change of address if you have moved outside France.

If you're going into the Belgian social security system, then their rules and coverages will apply. (Though I've heard tell that, in some ways, Belgium's health care system is actually better than France's, so I wouldn't worry about it.)

And actually, I believe that an AE registration is based on your home address - so when that changes, your AE is no longer available.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Thanks alot Bev - I think my head is clear now of residence of France. Gets so nerve wrecking at times. Especially moving country..again...Belgium has many different social security systems so we have to pick one and more confusing known as mutelle. To be honest, taking this move into Belgium slowly, as we have many things to wrap up in France. I havent closed down AE yet, as its linked to my social security and RSI...so we will do in August with all the address changes.

I didnt click that I can use the taxes after leaving as a strong point for French nationality letter of change of residence. Im on a little info fishing expedition but will look into the french nationality and naturalisations forums to research more.....and how the freedom of free movement directive 2004/38/EC can help me. Residence clearly here in Belgium is no problem, its not having a refusal of nationality application because of relocation to a member state. My legal friend has said that ''Regarding the precedence, all the EU countries have to comply with the Directive, and in general the EU laws have precedence in particular if national laws are less favourable to citizens. In case of any discrepancy, EU Laws will prevail although some of the EU counties do tend to question that. '' Not sure if you know more about this?

This is my stress point....my fishing expedition....<Par ailleurs, nul ne peut être naturalisé s’il n’a en France sa résidence au moment de la signature du décret de naturalisation.La notion de résidence s’entend d’une résidence fixe présentant un caractère stable et permanent coïncidant avec le centre des intérêts matériels et des liens familiaux. Les personnes qui résident à l’étranger peuvent, à titre exceptionnel, bénéficier d’une assimilation à une résidence en France lorsque, notamment, elles exercent une activité professionnelle publique ou privée pour le compte de l’Etat français ou d’un organisme dont l’activité présente un intérêt particulier pour l’économie ou la culture française. Les personnes qui estiment remplir ces conditions doivent s’adresser au consulat de France territorialement compétent. Il convient de signaler que ces dispositions font l’objet d’une interprétation très stricte du Conseil d’Etat.>

Thks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Hello all,

Thank you for the replies. Lots of good information - if a little disappointing. Having said that I went to the stick as suggested by Bevdeforges. This took me to a link to CLEISS website. I was reading through the sections relating to Canada. It indicates that Canada has a bilateral agreement with France on Social Security. I am using Google translate, but it seems to be saying that there could be an exemption from French Social Security payments for Canadian workers on secondment. Can you please read the information at these links and offer an opinion? - Vous venez du Canada pour travailler en France en tant que détaché
Employeur établi au Canada, vous détachez un salarié en France

Thanks,

Gary
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
18,642 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,417 Posts
Saffa, if I am reading you correctly, you seem to be asking whether you can use time living in Belgium toward taking French nationality - and the answer to that is "no." While you can get French nationality after 4 years (I think it is) of being married to a French national, being PACSd doesn't grant you the same benefit in the nationality sphere, I don't think.

At the time that you submit your documents for nationality, you need to have fulfilled the 5 year residence requirement - and I think that means 5 year uninterrupted.

If you were to marry your French partner, the clock starts as of the date of the marriage for taking nationality by marriage. If you live outside France, your French spouse does have to maintain his registration with the French consulate where you are living, but that's a fairly minimal price to pay.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,417 Posts
Gary, the only things I have to add to what ET and EH have said is that you should notice that it is up to the employer to organize things for a "détaché" in France under whatever treaties and agreements there are. There is something similar between France and the US, but I know the French are very cautious about these arrangements because there has been quite a bit of abuse of the system (at least with the US employers).
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Hi Bev, Nope - I applied for naturalization after living in France for 6 years. Gave dossier in March 2017, was unaware of leaving France at that time - hence my past-interest in residence. Things happened quick at end of May and now im here. I wander if you perhaps know anyone who applied, meeting all criteria, and then had to leave? Like in my case??

Yes, nationality for Pacs and marriage is super different, which is super annoying. My six years was uninterrupted....(check this one off - yay)...continued residence up until signing decret, not OK :( :( :( <<im going to seriously cry in a bucket if i cant find the answers because it took forever to get the documents from my home country - 2 years>>...for the moment im exercising my 90 days travel in a member state. But cant leave my family in belgium to live in France ...its just stupid. And I wont lie about anything to overcome this technicality....

Only tax year can help after March 2017 ...and seriously I am investigating <bénéficier d’une assimilation à une résidence en France lorsque,>....

I managed to stumple on this part over the weekend <Par ailleurs, nul ne peut être naturalisé s’il n’a en France sa résidence au moment de la signature du décret de naturalisation.La notion de résidence s’entend d’une résidence fixe présentant un caractère stable et permanent coïncidant avec le centre des intérêts matériels et des liens familiaux. Les personnes qui résident à l’étranger peuvent, à titre exceptionnel, bénéficier d’une assimilation à une résidence en France lorsque, notamment, elles exercent une activité professionnelle publique ou privée pour le compte de l’Etat français ou d’un organisme dont l’activité présente un intérêt particulier pour l’économie ou la culture française. Les personnes qui estiment remplir ces conditions doivent s’adresser au consulat de France territorialement compétent. Il convient de signaler que ces dispositions font l’objet d’une interprétation très stricte du Conseil d’Etat.>

My partner believes that when baby arrives, baby will be French (true), and how can they not give the mother-me nationality(!?!) I dont buy this. Doesnt make sense. Baby can take on parents nationality and not belgium one. Cant find any application form unless my eyes are failing me for applying for nationality if your child is french!!

If all else fails I will have to get immigration lawyer involved...but researching researching

Any thoughts and tips will be most appreciated.
Thanks
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top