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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Any and All,

First time on here, in fact apart from uni tasks, first time on a forum, so please be forgiving if I break any rules, although I do not intend to upset anybody or sell anything, so hopefully that is a good enough intention. :)

My husband and I and our 6 year old son are planning on moving to France next year, around the Limoges area. My husband will work from home but return to UK office monthly for 'important' meetings and the like. His income will be enough (we hope) to cover all our overheads and allow us the simple life we are looking for.

However, I also want an occupation, I am NOT a would be 'lady of leisure', I am very active and very sociable and am not intending to become a recluse. In the past in the UK I managed restaurants in my early career and then went on to become a guest house owner, which I did for 10 years or so. After my son was born, I then became an English teacher, with a specialism in ESOL and am currently working at Manchester College as a tutor.

When we come to France we had initially intended to buy a home with potential for a B&B or an up and running one. However, since house hunting we keep coming across homes with gites attached or in the grounds for sale, and have actually seen one we really like the look of.

What I am looking for from the users of this site therefore, is any feedback, opinions or advice, anecdotal or otherwise that can perhaps give us something to make an informed decision. I have lots of experience in running the B&B and am obviously aware of the hard work involved, lack of regular working hours and personal privacy etc. I can't see how much difference the gite ownership would be, apart from not having to cook breakfast and evening meals, but really think you guys will know so much more. Not looking to make a fortune, just tick over, pay its way, make me feel I have something to get up for in the morning and so forth.

Enough of the waffle then, sorry, but any help would be most gratefully received. P.S. I speak 'holiday' French , have an O' Level in it, but obviously that is years old, I am currently taking lessons in England and will obviously continue as soon as we finally get to France.

Thanks, Jacqui
 

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I ran B&B here at t' Mill the first few years we were here, and since 2009 we've had holiday chalets/gites in Corsica.

From experience, the most critical thing to determine is how much competition there is in your target area, and the going rates, and where your target clientele is coming from & how you're going to reel them in, and what the average take-up rate is.

Here, for example, any and every expat, pretty much, with a spare room is offering B&B, and anyone with a barn/stable/dairy/outbuilding to convert has done so & is offering gites, so competition has gone thro' the roof.

The French tax system is fairly kind re gites letting income (at least it has been to us), less kind re B&B, but to achieve any realistic profit, once you take ALL associated costs into account, is hard. Yeah, it's nice to do if it's a hobby/pocket money, and if you want something to keep you busy and you like meeting people. But you probably know that, and you'll also know that the highest demand will come just at the time when YOU want to have free time to spend with your family, ie school hols.

As you won't depending on that income, I'd say to just choose a place you like, and jump in, and maybe put the letting on hold (unless there's a captive clientele already) until you get yourselves sorted out. Maybe, as you get comfy here, you'll find some USP which will make you want to open up the gites for themed weeks/weekends, etc. depending upon what your hobbies are, and who your contacts become.

Good luck,

h
 

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Welcome to our forum!

We (Fr wife and me, retired) live in the mountains 1 hour from Perpignan in the south. We bought the house without the idea of doing B&B. However, our respective families do not visit us as much as we would like, so we have 2 bedrooms and bathroom spare. Near us is a thermal spa (does not exist in UK - treatments are paid for as a medication on a doc's prescription.)

On this basis we bought and renovated 2 flats in the village and offer B&B in the house. the majority of our clients are not "tourists" but "curistes" who come for 3 weeks. This is working well and the revenue is useful. It is, as you say, hard work and during the winter we are changing our "2 bedrooms" to "1 bedroom and salon". We can nearly double the price with this so we won't lose out.

There is a rating system in France that is good news, you pay less income tax if you have the stars. We are looking at the costs of getting stars - is it a good investment?

My advice is to work out who your target clients are - longish holiday makers, overnight stays? Local big offices or university etc?

DejW
 

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Hi Jaqui - well I'm a newbie here too so not sure of the rules either, specifically, can we mention other forums? If not - sorry, please delete my post and rap my knuckles and I won't do it again. If we can - there is a very interesting dedicated gite owners forum called laymyhat, with a French section, where you can have a browse and see what the burning issues to be aware of, are.

If your hubbie works from home in France he will, presumably, of necessity be registered as an employee or a business in some shape or form, and paying cotisations in France, which will get you into the French health system. So I believe you would not necessarily have to register your gite as a business, which might simplify life a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for such a quick and informative reply, glad to know I actually managed to post it correctly!

Jacqui.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you very much, nice to hear a success story, hoping if we keep our expectations low then we won't be too disappointed. Really looking for a pleasant lifestyle and a good start in life for our son in a semi rural situation and an opportunity to make most of outdoor life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He will be earning a living in the UK and paying UK tax, health care costs are one thing he is investigating at the moment, looking at private health insurance and so on, so hard to think of everything when you are really not quite sure what your are going to be doing yourself. All a bit chicken and egg. Thanks for the tip though, will have a good look around the site.

Jacqui.
 

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My husband will work from home but return to UK office monthly for 'important' meetings and the like.

He will be earning a living in the UK and paying UK tax, health care costs
As you say you'll need to clarify all this with HMRC/DWP. If he's an employee and his company is seconding him to work in France and wants to keep him on a UK employment contract, they need to clear it with HMRC/DWP and he will then be issued with an S1 to cover the family's healthcare in France. Otherwise his employers will have to pay French cotisations for him to URSSAF. If it's his own company and he performs work in France he would normally need to register some kind of business structure in France and pay cotisations through that. Either way, since he's economically active in the EU there shouldn't be any need for private health cover, normally it's only 'inactives' who need that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Health care costs/schooling?

My husband has his own business registered etc. in the UK, he will be doing work remotely from the home in France but all revenue will be paid by English clients in UK £ into the UK based business, which obviously will pay corporate tax and his own tax will be paid to UK HMRC.

Will that still entitle him to French medical care? And what about me and our 6 year old son, my income will be anything from gite/B&B, probably very little and probably not enough to pay French tax. I was hoping, over time to maybe teach some private English lessons, but this is just a very slight possibility and certainly not in the first year of the move. Is private medical care going to be our only option?

Also, any advice on settling six year old into school would be most appreciated, we considered a private International school, but location wise that doesn't seem to be possible.

Jacqui.

P.S. This forum is great so far, much more information and ideas than simply trying to Google! Thank you. :)
 

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As Bev has said somewhere, possibly in another thread, if you're resident in France, you're liable to submit French Tax Returns for all income irrespective of where it's earned.

You will need to make a declaration to HMRC/DWP that you will be fiscally resident in France, and similarly make a declaration here to say you're now resident here. Wherever your husband pays his tax isn't overly important because of the reciprocal tax arrangements, but it will probably mean that he'll be subject to French cotisations (roughly equivalent to NI), which has the benefit of getting him, and you and your child as his dependants, into the French healthcare system (& qualify you for pension, school entry grants - means-tested, and any other benefits to which you may eventually be entitled). It will take time to get it all sorted out and you should make interim arrangements for your health cover, but it should all sort itself out in the end.

I don't know all the details, but those, more or less, are the gist.

hils
 

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Be very, very careful with that sort of arrangement, because there have been disputes between the UK and French tax authorities over how that sort of a deal is supposed to work for taxes and cotisations/social insurances.

As a French resident (and you'll be French residents based on having your primary home in France), you'll be expected to file a French income tax return. Normally, the UK company should be paying your husband through its French branch office, which would take care of the cotisation issue, but with your husband actually doing the work in the UK (doesn't matter where the customers are) that complicates matters quite a bit.

It might be a good idea to check with the UK and French tax offices to head off (or simply confront) possible problems before they turn nasty. But assuming that you can get an S1 to qualify your health coverage here, you'll still need to get a mutuelle to reimburse you for the portion of medical fees that the French system doesn't cover.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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My husband has his own business registered etc. in the UK, he will be doing work remotely from the home in France but all revenue will be paid by English clients in UK £ into the UK based business, which obviously will pay corporate tax and his own tax will be paid to UK HMRC.
He does need to get advice on this, it isn't a straightforward issue and it is important to get it right and make sure his back is covered. Even if his business and his clients are all in the UK, if he is physically in France when he is working and generating income, that opens a can of worms. There are different options and for people who understand it, it is not complicated or expensive; but what you can't do is live and work in France but not tell the tax people, and continue paying tax and NI as if you were still in the UK. The French fisc don't like it if they find out.

Will that still entitle him to French medical care?
That's another reason why he needs to sort things out right at the start because it will then become clear which his 'competent state' is going to be - i.e. where he will pay his contributions and who will take responsibility for the family's healthcare. As Jacqui says it will probably be France, but if he still has very strong ties with the UK and spends a lot of time there, it is possible that the UK might continue considering him UK resident and issue him with an S1 to cover his family's healthcare in France.

And what about me and our 6 year old son, my income will be anything from gite/B&B, probably very little and probably not enough to pay French tax.
In France you declare your income as a household and are taxed as a household. Your own income, however small, will be declared on your joint declaration along with your husband's. You are given a tax allowance based on the number of people in your household, so obviously as a couple with a child you get a higher allowance than a single person or a childless couple. Then the tax bill is worked out for per household. It's a fairer system than the UK really.


EDIT - sorry, Bevdeforges - posts crossed.
 

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No problem with the crossed posts - you provided a bit more detail than I had time to. But how did you manage to attribute jacqui's quotes to hils? Jacqui is the one moving to France. Hils has been here for yonks!
Cheers,
Bev
 

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No problem with the crossed posts - you provided a bit more detail than I had time to. But how did you manage to attribute jacqui's quotes to hils? Jacqui is the one moving to France. Hils has been here for yonks!
Cheers,
Bev
:eek: don't know
:eek: can't edit it
:behindsofa: sorry hils, sorry Jacqui
 

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No problem with the crossed posts - you provided a bit more detail than I had time to. But how did you manage to attribute jacqui's quotes to hils? Jacqui is the one moving to France. Hils has been here for yonks!
Cheers,
Bev
Yes, I was a bit surprised when I got up this morning to find I was moving to France, had a husband and - horror of horrors - a 6 yr-old son!!! eeeeeeeek! lol

I know I lead a confused/confusing, quirky life, but that, well .... I think I'd remember something like that.

:D:D:D
 
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