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Simple Guide to French Tax for British Expats


For those contemplating purchasing a second home in France or a complete move, often the misconceptions about tax and the complications of bureaucratic administration may prove offputting.

But, it needn’t be a big problem.

Here, in a nutshell is a run-down of major French taxes that you might think are onerous but which it might surprise you to find – may be surprisingly positive:

French Inheritance tax and regulations:

There have been significant changes through EU legislation regarding Inheritance regulations which will come into effect in August 2015 giving greater security of assets to those wishing to be tax resident in France.

This means that for UK nationals who are tax resident in France, they will have the right to choose UK law to administer their estate – giving more freedom of choice.

Note: this includes all assets including those based in france. It applies only for uk nationals living in France. A UK tax resident with a second home in France will have their French asset distribution governed by French rules and regulations.

UK Pension Rules for British Expats in France

UK Pension legislation has been broadened allowing those of required age to have the potential for more flexibility

French Wealth Tax:

For those coming to France to live for the first time there are certain Wealth Tax exemptions available which will give doubters food for thought. Available is a five year exemption on assets held outside of France (valid for first 5 years of residency) and any mortgage held on a property will be offset against the overall value of assets resulting in a decreased tax bill.Careful planning with the help of a qualified financial adviser should allow you to achieve your dream home with no nasty surprises.

French Income Tax:

Being taxed as a household rather than as individuals in France means you can utilise decreased rate tax bands if you are a married couple. Tax rates start at a lower rate than the UK at 14% (between a married couple) with, currently, a maximum tax of 45%. Depending upon the type of income you earn, you may receive a nil rate allowance both in the UK and France.

Jennie Poate is a qualified advisor with Beacon Global Wealth Management: beaconglobalwealth.com

The information on this page is intended only as an introduction only and is not designed to offer solutions or advice. Beacon Global Wealth Management can accept no responsibility whatsoever for losses incurred by acting on the information in this article. It is important to get advice from a reputable, authorised financial advisor who is qualified to give advice. Always ask an advisor for proof of qualification.

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