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Having bought a place in France almost a year ago I am trying to unravel what my position is with respect to the french tax system. I earn all my money outside of France and currently pay UK taxes. As I work in Algeria for 6 mths a year I also have residency there and pay Algerian taxes. On average I spend about 4 to 5 months a year in France (although my wife, who has no income, spends nearer 9 months there). As I have not entered the French healthcare system, I thought I understood that I would not be liable for any taxes. However, I recently swapped emails with a french accountant and he advised me that, although this is most likely the case, it is still required for me to file a return. He has offered to do this on my behalf for 600 Euros, which I think is a bit steep. In a nutshell my questions are:

Is it necessary for me to file?
Is the E600 about the going rate?

Thanks!
 

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You're up against the age-old issue of determining residence when you "live" in several countries. The French position is pretty simple - taxes are filed on a household basis. You can't have a different residence than that of your wife, so the fact that your wife lives in France the bulk of the year means that you do, too. (Even if you rarely come back to visit her.)

And, France does insist on a declaration of your worldwide income - though the fact that you pay taxes already in Algeria means you probably won't be double taxed.

As I understand it, though, in order to drop the UK tax burden, you have to formally declare yourself resident outside the UK to the UK tax authority.

Unless you've got remarkably complicated finances, 600€ strikes me as a real rip-off for completing tax returns, too. If you or your wife speak (and read) decent French, I'd suggest getting one of the computer tax programs in France - Click Impot is the one I know and use, but I think there are others. The first time through is a bit of a struggle until you get to know the forms, but just remember that you have to file a separate form detailing your foreign source income - and it explains on the form how to indicate that you've already been taxed on it.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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