Working remotely from France
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 (sareg.com) replies: If you live in France full-time and work remotely, carrying out all your business and decisions from France, the