Expats in France face confusion over tax on overseas income

Published:  17 May at 6 PM
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As French lawmakers fight over the introduction of new tax laws affecting expats who have overseas investments or pensions, potentially affected expats in the country are facing financial confusion.

The issue concerns the double tax ruling between France and Britain, with taxing UK expats on their pension and investment earnings in the UK possibly illegal unless the expat has failed to already pay tax on money earned offshore. French lawmakers are analysing the double tax treaties between France, the UK and other countries but have so far come to no conclusions.

The new tax law is a grey area for officials in the French tax department, particularly in the case of UK expats who pay no tax as their income falls below their personal allowances. In spite of the issue not yet being resolved, UK expats are reporting having been issued in 2012 with French tax bills and bills for social contributions.

Many who appealed against the legality of the demands have had them withdrawn, but an equal number have had their appeals turned down and a number of local tax offices have not yet issued any demands. According to the French tax office, the discrepancies are down to differing regional interpretations of the new rules.

All UK expats are now being urged to submit a declaration of all relevant income sources and amounts on the official form, and tax experts are advising the giving of precise details of all income in the form’s extra information section as it may help the avoidance of social contributions due to the double tax treaty. A final decision is expected over the next few weeks.
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