To be a resident or not

8 Replies



Hi, This may be a simple question to a complicated subject, but can anyone provide me with some information about whether it is a good idea to become a resident in France or not? I assume the healthcare is a big bonus, but are there taxes on property/investments back in the UK? Any other points to consider? Thanks 


CharlotteM-441068 1422269989

Hi crg333.  I assume you mean tax resident.  Benefits or otherwise will depend on personal circumstances.  First of all a lot depends on whether you are in receipt of a state pension.  If you are and can get an S1 form then your health care will be taken care of, although you will probably want to take out 'top up' insurance.  Varies in prices but government regullated and no need to declare existing conditions etc.  Health care here is certainly very good.  The amount you pay on income is, I believe, generally less than in England (for the average person) although if you have property you rent out in England it will attract social charges (a bit like our NHI contributions) no matter how old you are.  Government pensions (such as teachers/poliice etc) are still taxabble in the UK but come under a treaty that means you can't be taxed twice, so, although you have to declare them in France it won't cost you more money.


There is a wealth tax in France - I'm not wealthy so I can't tell you about it, but I think if your overall asest are over a certain sum (the last time I looked it was about 12 years ago and at that time £500,000) you pay a tax on your wealth.  

You'd probably find car insurance less expensive (I certainly did) and there's no car tax to pay. There is a tax when you sell second homes (but if they have been your main home then you are allowed a period of time to do this, I think 3 years, could be 2).  Capital gains tax on any privately owned property starts to be scaled down once you have owned a property for 10 years and stops completed when you have owned it for 22 years (at present).  Unlike in the UK where Sapital Gains Tax would be payable on second homes however long you have owned them.  

The biggest difference would be taxes payable when you die and the matter of succession.  At present the Napoleonic Code dictates how someone's worldwide property is left, but I understand from later this year the law changes so that you can make a will leaving your UK property as you wish.

It's worthwhile getting yourselves some informed advice.  I can only tell you what I know from my own experiences etc and that isn't good enough for you to make a decision about moving house.


Good luck


François-957322 1422279422

All good information but as regards rental property in the UK. Please refer to previous articles in the newspaper Connexxion that does state Social contributions are NOT payable on rental income in the UK

CharlotteM-441068 1422357524

That's good info Francoise - however, despite protesting loud and clear, also protests from my accountant, I (and also my friends) are stilling paying this charge as not all tax authorities will acknowledge it is wrong.  I wish there were some way of convincing them as my pension is made up of rentals, I don't even get a full state pension.

Bad Penny 1422896225

Is is as simple as it is being made out?  I thought your residential status was not a matter of choice but a matter of specific circumstances.  Usually governments aren't daft enough to allow people to freely choose a country that provides a better tax advantage.  Or am I missing an opportunity here?

CharlotteM-441068 1422956732

If you're resident in a country for 6 months or more in any one year then your tax resident in that sountry and must pay your tax bill on your worldwide income in that place.  No choice.

Bad Penny 1422980366

That accords with what I have heard (and read).

Maisie-886960 1423496530

Hi CharlotteM,

Unless you were a civil servant in which case you have no choice but to pay your tax in the UK.

Maisie-886960 1423496590

Sorry, I meant tax on your pension once you have retired from the civil service.

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