Looking after elderly relatives in France: We check out what assistance is available for expats…
First of all, did you know that in France, children (where finances permit) can be obliged by the courts to support their parents and grandparents?
Putting this obligation aside, having family to stay brings much joy, but having them move in also brings costs –not only food and lodging, but you might also need to undertake home improvements and organize for extra help to care for them. In France, it’s possible to get support for some extra costs for those caring for elderly relatives; we take a look at what’s available and how to apply
When you need to make necessary improvements to your primary residence to accommodate the elderly and persons of reduced mobility, a tax credit is granted for the installation and replacement of equipment specially designed to assist your new residents.
It is a very specific list of works covered, and they must be carried out by a professional, however you may be eligible for 25% of the cost to be reimbursed against your tax bill.
How to claim: Declare the full amount spent, including VAT, in box 7WJ of your ‘déclaration de revenues’. The cost of works is capped at 5.000€ for a single person household, and 10.000€ for a couple, with an extra 400€ for every dependent.
Tip: Keep the invoice for the home improvements in case you are asked for it.
If your family member is not already in the French health system, but has a CEAM (Carte Européene d’Assurance Maladie ) you can add them to your own health cover as a dependent.
How: Use form cerfa 14411*01 and send it on to the French organisation which oversees your own cover (CPAM, RSI,…).
You need to apply for an Allocation Personalisée d’Autonomie or APA (as at the local Mairie). After this a home visit is conducted with a doctor and a social worker, to establish the needs of your family member and your involvement in their day-to-day life. This may mean you are remunerated for your assistance, or that external home help can be engaged to help as necessary.
Note: 1 month after you receive confirmation that APA is approved, a declaration should be made of the personnel engaged or the help being received (cerfa 10544*02).
The amount of support you receive will depend on the revenues of the person you are caring for as well as how much help they need.
Tax implications & reductions
As far as the French taxman is concerned your family member is now one of your household for tax purposes; even if their pension or disability income is taxed at source it should be declared on your household tax return, and if not it should be added as the income of a dependent.
If your dependent has no income, then you should reduce your total household revenue by 3.407€ per dependent, per annum (2017).
Your annual taxe d’habitation may also be reduced if your dependent is over the age of 70, lives with you and in the previous year had a declared taxable income below 10.697€ (16.409€ for two people: 2017).
The list of de-taxed installations is a long one, so get in touch to check if your planned works are eligible – email@example.com
by Jo-Ann Howell at French Admin Solutions who helps expats settle into life in France.