Rob Kay,

Se­nior Part­ner at Blevins Franks.


Blevins Franks has been pro­vid­ing spe­cial­ist, pro­fes­sional ad­vice for over 40 years and have earned a rep­u­ta­tion as the lead­ing in­ter­na­tional tax and wealth management ad­vis­ers to UK ex­pa­tri­ates liv­ing in France. The French tax sys­tem is dif­fer­ent to that of the UK, and the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween each coun­try’s tax laws means there are some im­por­tant facts for you to be aware of. We have set out 5 top tips for you to con­sider if you are buy­ing a prop­erty in France or look­ing to re­lo­cate there:

Tax Res­i­dency – Be aware of the French tax res­i­dency rules. Be­come tax res­i­dent, and you be­come li­able to French taxes on your world­wide in­come and gains. If you con­tinue to spend time in the UK, you could re­tain UK tax res­i­dency and be li­able to taxes in both ju­ris­dic­tions.

Pen­sions – If you are in­tend­ing to re­tire to France, it is cru­cial you take ad­vice on the tax treat­ment of pen­sion in­come and lump sums be­fore you take any ben­e­fits from your pen­sion fund. Oth­er­wise, you could miss out on im­por­tant tax sav­ings.

In­vest­ing Tax Ef­fi­ciently – Tax­ef­fi­cient in­vest­ments in the UK like ISAs are not tax ef­fi­cient in France – you will have to pay French tax and so­cial

charges on any in­come and gains. You will need to take steps to place sav­ings and in­vest­ments in French com­pli­ant tax-ef­fi­cient struc­tures.

The “Foyer” Sys­tem – The “foyer” or “house­hold” sys­tem shares the in­come of the house­hold amongst all its mem­bers. This avoids one fam­ily mem­ber be­ing taxed at the high­est rates, and an­other fail­ing to fully utilise their tax-free al­lowances. Make sure this is utilised where ben­e­fi­cial.

French Es­tate Taxes – The French es­tate tax sys­tem is very dif­fer­ent to that of the UK’s, and Brexit will only com­pli­cate this is­sue. Makes sure you un­der­stand how each sys­tem works and how they in­ter­act.

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