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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have looked absolutely everywhere for clarification on this, read the 2008 Uk France treaty but have not found anything. My husband is an officer in the merchant navy working for a company called Maersk, currently he gets 100% income tax relief because of how long he spends out of the country etc but he still pays national insurance contributions. I am a stay at home mother with 2 boys under 2 years old!!!

Anyway we have been talking about moving to France for a few years now and have decided that it's time to take the plunge, we own no property in either country and plan on renting until we make our final decision after giving France a try for at least a year.

Does anyone know what the situation would be tax wise for us, whether they have special rules for merchant seamen in France like they do here in the therefore we would continue not to pay tax?... and possibly where we would be better off as this will obviously be a huge factor in our decision.

Sorry for the long post, I've never been in a forum before!

Emma
 

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I'm not aware of any tax relief for merchant seamen here in France - though I'll admit I've never really had to look into the issue.

Normally, you have to file a tax declaration and pay French income taxes if your tax domicile is in France. Your tax domicile is determined by where your "financial center of interest" is located and by where your family lives (if you're married and have kids). Unless there is a specific exemption for merchant marines, you do have to declare your worldwide income and pay taxes on it.

The term to use if you want to search some of the French tax and other sites yourself is "marine marchande" - I didn't find anything in a quick search for tax advantages for marine marchande, but perhaps someone else here on the site knows of something.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No that's what I concluded, I am finding it impossible to find anything.

There are specific rules here in the UK for Merchant sailors but I can't find one scrap of info about anything of the same sort regarding France so therefore I guess that it doesn't exist!

Thank you!
 

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No that's what I concluded, I am finding it impossible to find anything.

There are specific rules here in the UK for Merchant sailors but I can't find one scrap of info about anything of the same sort regarding France so therefore I guess that it doesn't exist!

Thank you!
The French are a bit nuts about "egalité" (equality) and my sense is that excluding a profession from taxation altogether might be a bit too much for the French. (Still, "international civil servants" at a certain level are, indeed, exempt from income taxes here in France - but that really only affects "diplomats" working at the OECD or UNESCO.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Although I have just found this excerpt from a Canadian website about someone complaining that their Merchant sailors having to pay tax...to me it seems to suggest that France may be similar to the UK in this respect but other that the following I can't seem to find anything about it one way or another...quite frustrating as I just want something in concrete, even if it's not the ideal answer I am looking for!

Income tax and professional seafaring

Why do seafarers need special income tax considerations?

An elimination, or reduction, of income taxes for seafarers would allow Canadian seafarers, already respected in the seafaring community, to continue to work abroad without undue financial hardship to their families. No income taxes for professional seafarer’s wages earned outside Canada’s territorial water would bring Canadian Seafarers policy inline with many other nation’s policies, such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Croatia, France, South Africa, Philippines and many more. This allowance would level the playing field for Canadian Seafarers, currently at a serious competitive disadvantage due to our heavy tax burden.
 

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OK, this might be what you're looking for: Guide impôt sur le revenu

It's all in French, but it does cite chapter and verse, and if I'm reading it right, it says that he's exonerated from income tax if he's employed by a company located in France, the EU or a country that has a relevant treaty with France - and if he's working on certain category of registered ships. (You'll know more about that than I will.)

So, maybe France is an option!
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Merchant Seaman

Hi there. Did you find out the position of a Merchant seaman and tax liability if he moved to France? I ask as we are considering the same. Regards, Pugwash.
 

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Hi,
As I understand it , if he works for a company based in the UK and the work is outside France, he remains taxable and insurable in the UK, so UK rules would apply, and he could obtain a form S 1 for health cover in France ,for the whole family.
To confirm this you should talk to -HMRC,-DWP,- and his employer's financial department.
 
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