Work­ing re­motely from France

French Property News - - Ask The Experts -

We are con­tem­plat­ing a move out to France and won­dered if you could help with ad­vice around tax is­sues. I run a lim­ited com­pany. I can eas­ily do the work re­motely, but my clients would re­main largely Uk-based, so I’d ideally want my com­pany to re­main the same, i.e. a UK com­pany. Can I do this even if I live in France and how would cor­po­ra­tion tax work? Would I be pay­ing cor­po­ra­tion tax in this coun­try be­cause it is a UK com­pany? And would I then pay per­sonal tax on any salary and div­i­dends taken from the com­pany in France rather than to the UK Gov­ern­ment? Ali­son French are likely to con­sider your busi­ness a French one. You may be able to con­tinue run­ning a for­eign busi­ness from France but you must prove that you are truly in­volved in that busi­ness, trav­el­ling for work on UK soil (where you take a salary) and mak­ing com­pany de­ci­sions in the UK. How­ever, div­i­dends can be earned by share­hold­ers wher­ever they live so that el­e­ment of the in­come is not an is­sue. You would not nec­es­sar­ily need to set up a French lim­ited com­pany to run your busi­ness from France, de­pend­ing on turnover, staff and li­a­bil­i­ties. A self-em­ployed struc­ture could be suit­able, par­tic­u­larly if you are the only one work­ing in the busi­ness and do not re­quire lim­ited li­a­bil­ity to pro­tect your per­sonal as­sets (pro­fes­sional li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance can cover po­ten­tial client claims).

The self-em­ployed sta­tus is fairly flex­i­ble, tak­ing in­come as and when you like to, with all profit be­ing taxed on the in­di­vid­ual in­come tax regime (pro­gres­sive rate of tax based on house­hold sit­u­a­tion and rev­enue) and so­cial con­tri­bu­tions be­ing due for French wel­fare cover. There would be no cor­po­ra­tion tax, salary or div­i­dends in this type of busi­ness struc­ture.

If you de­cided to main­tain your UK com­pany, for work car­ried out in the UK, it would be im­por­tant to nom­i­nate a UK­domi­ciled di­rec­tor for de­ci­sion-mak­ing and to work out how best to take an in­come from the UK com­pany, if re­quired.

You would con­tinue to pay cor­po­ra­tion tax in the UK and any salary and div­i­dends would be taxed in France, with a tax credit ap­plied to the salary where tax has been paid on it in the UK. Please note that div­i­dends carry a 40% tax-free al­lowance with re­gards to in­come tax but so­cial taxes are ap­plied to the gross div­i­dend (cur­rently at 15.5%).

Deb­bie Brad­bury of SAREG Ac­coun­tants ( replies: If you live in France full-time and work re­motely, car­ry­ing out all your busi­ness and de­ci­sions from France, the

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