Ask the ex­perts

Whether you’re plan­ning your move to France, or are al­ready liv­ing out there, our panel of pro­fes­sion­als aims to keep you fully in­formed with the best ad­vice for ev­ery even­tu­al­ity

Living France - - Les Pratiques -


QWe have a cot­tage in Nor­mandy and spend as much time as we can there. We are both re­tired and only have our pen­sion and an­nu­ities which we pay tax on in Eng­land. This com­ing year, we plan to spend 223 days in our sec­ond home in France which would be spread out over the year. Will this mean that we would be con­sid­ered French res­i­dents? This is not some­thing we would nec­es­sar­ily want to do. Wendy and Tony Christo­pher

AThe rules gov­ern­ing tax res­i­dence in both the UK and France are com­pli­cated, but it is im­por­tant to see how they would ap­ply in your per­sonal cir­cum­stances, since you can­not choose where you are tax res­i­dent. You are deemed to be a tax res­i­dent of France if at least one of the fol­low­ing points ap­ply: 1) France is your main res­i­dence and the place where you spend the ma­jor­ity of your time, re­gard­less of whether or not you spend pe­ri­ods of time away. This is the rule the French au­thor­i­ties will rely on most. 2) France is your lieu séjour prin­ci­pal, your prin­ci­pal place of abode. This usu­ally means you spend more than 183 days in France per cal­en­dar year. Usu­ally, the French tax au­thor­i­ties will ac­cept an in­di­vid­ual as be­ing a non-French res­i­dent if you have spent more days in one sin­gle other coun­try than France. 3) Your prin­ci­pal ac­tiv­ity is in France, e.g. your oc­cu­pa­tion is in the coun­try or your main in­come arises in France. 4) France is the coun­try where you have most

ROB KAY of your sub­stan­tial as­sets (cen­tre of eco­nomic in­ter­ests).

If you are plan­ning to spend 223 days in France, you would clearly meet the sec­ond con­di­tion above and there­fore would be con­sid­ered tax res­i­dent in France. If you spend the rest of the year in the UK, it is likely that you would be con­sid­ered res­i­dent also un­der the UK rules. If you are con­sid­ered res­i­dent in both the UK and France, you would have to ap­ply the tiebreaker test in the UK/France dou­ble-tax treaty to work out which coun­try has the right to treat you as res­i­dent. It is al­ways risky to rely on the treaty and, if you want to avoid be­com­ing French tax res­i­dent, it would be safer to limit your cu­mu­la­tive num­ber of days in France to be­low 183 days in the cal­en­dar year. ROB KAY


QMy wife and I are mov­ing to France later this year. We are both early re­tirees and won­dered what our health­care op­tions are, as I be­lieve the S1 form is no longer is­sued by the UK gov­ern­ment? Paul Mil­ner

AIn or­der to re­side ha­bit­u­ally in France, you must have health in­surance and in the ab­sence of such, you will be in­voiced for any med­i­cal treat­ment re­ceived. In Jan­uary 2016, a new health law called La Pro­tec­tion Uni­verselle Mal­adie (PUMA) came into force aim­ing to as­sist peo­ple with health­care pay­ments. The re­im­burse­ment is sub­ject to a num­ber of con­di­tions. To qual­ify,


ex­clu­sive­health­ you must have lived in France for three months and be res­i­dent there for six months out of the year. If you are em­ployed, with a reg­u­lar salary, your health tax is de­ducted from your in­come whereas re­tirees have no health­care costs to pay.

If you are granted Form 735 af­fil­i­a­tion by your statu­tory health of­fice, any health con­tri­bu­tion charges due will be sent to you di­rectly by your tax au­thor­ity. Each in­di­vid­ual must con­sult their rel­e­vant statu­tory health of­fice in or­der to get of­fi­cial an­swers to any ques­tions con­cern­ing their af­fil­i­a­tion. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, you should con­sult the of­fi­cial site

If, for what­ever rea­son, you are un­able to ac­cess this health­care scheme, you could go down the route of pri­vate health in­surance.

Health in­sur­ers may be able to pro­pose a pri­vate health pol­icy to suit your sit­u­a­tion and ap­pli­ca­tions for them are sub­ject to com­plet­ing a med­i­cal ques­tion­naire. Go­ing



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