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I'm doing some research on this topic and came across information on SCOP and Portage companies, and was wondering if anyone's done this route, or if anyone knows if it would be an acceptable way to work remotely from France for a U.S. company as an American citizen (visa aside)? It seems like it takes care of all the tax complications for a fee, which I'd be willing to pay to avoid the headache, but I can't really tell which option would be better or how it would affect my tax reporting.

I get the impression my official "employer" would be the SCOP or portage company in France, so does that mean the U.S. company wouldn't have to issue W-2s? And would that still be ok to earn essentially all my income from a single communication "client" through the SCOP, rather than multiple clients like a typical freelance situation?

Thanks so much for any info!
 

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Visa/Tax Questions

Hi All,

Also hoping to revive this thread. I have a ton of questions and am finding conflicting information online. Here's my situation: my husband and I are currently located in Chicago. We just bought a house in France. My employer is an arts organization (non-profit), but a group of touring classical musicians who perform in France and around the world. They have given me permission to work from France (remotely).
My husband is a touring drummer who plays with a band who tours Europe often, (mostly the UK). He's been teaching drums in Chicago for 15 years and hopes to continue to do lessons via skype as well as do private lessons in France (he speaks French).
I've read through this thread and got a lot of helpful info, but I still have more questions:

1. I make $44K. I'm trying to determine if I should advise my employer to list me as an employee who has temporarily been assigned to work abroad (fill out SE-404-2 and look into paperwork they would need to complete). This would require me getting a long-stay tourist visa, which means having international health insurance with a $0 deductible and $50,000 USD medical coverage. My employer would drop me from my current plan, and be ok with giving me a credit to pay for this private insurance (since current plan doesn't meet this requirement). Being listed as temporarily assigned to work abroad could carry me to the 5 year period needed to apply for permanent resident card--OR if I should

2. Change my status to a 1099 independent contractor. Would I be responsible to pay taxes to both countries and approximately how much? I understand that in scenario #1 I am still responsible to pay income tax to France, in addition to what would be withheld from my paycheck. Approximately how much would I be responsible to pay to France?

3. I've been looking at applying for the Skills and Talents work permit, as the work that I will be doing in France could possibly fall within the requirements to obtain that visa. Does anyone know if those are hard to get and about how long do they take to get? Would I need to be a 1099 contractor to apply for this, or could I stay an employee with my arts organization?

4. Does home ownership impact our visa application at all? I've read that it doesn't, but I also think that it might be wise to refrain from mentioning that we purchased a home if we are applying for a long stay tourist visa.

Thank you in advance for your help!
 

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Hi Jaysal_Vador,

Did you ever find answers to your questions regarding SCOP and Portage companies? I'm doing some research and came across the same questions.

Thanks!
Annie
 

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Just noticed that one of these posts got hidden from view by an overly zealous spam filter. So have moved to a thread of their own to try to attract a bit more attention. Will try to answer some of the questions raised, but my experience in this area is limited.

1. This option may or may not be feasible. I believe the employer has to have a French presence in order to treat an employee as one on "temporary assignment." Normally, this option allows the employee to remain on their home country social security system (including health care) though they would then be subject to the usual French income taxes. It's not designed for those working remotely, and the arrangement has been subject to much abuse by foreign employers, so the government tends to look very closely at new arrangements.

2. As a 1099 employee, you would still be working in France (i.e. doing the work while physically present in France) and thus subject to French income taxes and social insurance. There is a US-French tax treaty that is supposed to eliminate any double taxation, and the main vehicle for that is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and/or the Foreign Tax Credit. But as a 1099 employee you would pretty much have to set up a French business entity to register for and pay your social insurances (health, retirement, etc.). As a 1099 contractor, you would not have US withholdings taken from your pay - and you would probably have to charge your employer VAT on amounts you billed to them.

3. The skills and talents visa has been replaced by a talent visa. The terms and conditions are a bit different. Check the website of your local French Consulate for more information.

4. Home ownership should not affect your visa application - whether the home you have purchased is in the US or in France. Owning property in France doesn't give you any "in" for obtaining a visa, and owning a home in the US is considered "illiquid" so not really relevant to the visa decision.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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