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Updated guide to expat taxes in France

November 10th, 2017 No comments

When you live in France as an expat, one of the most important topics that has a lasting impact on you is taxation. We all hate it, but it’s an essential part of the expat experience. Plus, it funds important services for healthcare, retirement, education, infrastructure, etc. I recommend you hire an accountant to help you with taxes, because of all the regulations, codes and exceptions. But these links and guides below can be a helpful start.

A map of world currencies (Gerry Rea Partners)

Here are some key links:
Main French government website for taxes
UK guide to taxes on foreign income
US IRS info on taxes
Canada Embassy in France (under “Fiscalité”)
French Property guide to expat taxes (not just property tax)
Expats Paris Visual Guide to French Tax Returns (awesome)

Lastly, Expatica has a great page about doing your taxes in France.

It covers the wide array of topics below.
If you have any tips or stories, please feel free to post as a comment.

  • Dual taxation in France
  • Calculating your taxes in France
  • French tax rates 2017
  • French taxes for non-residents
  • Filing your French tax return
  • French tax refunds and credits
  • Paying your French taxes
  • Other mandatory French taxes for residents
  • French capital gains tax
  • French wealth tax
  • French property taxes: owners and renters
  • Inheritance tax in France
  • VAT in France
  • Corporate tax in France
  • Social security taxes in France
  • French tax authority

US Tax deadline April 15, and June 17 for US expats abroad

Just a friendly reminder that the April 15th tax deadline is fast approaching with our friends at the IRS. Americans living abroad have until June 17th to file their returns, but still any taxes owed to the US government that are outstanding must be paid by April 15th.

For those in France, the US Embassy Paris has a page dedicated to taxation resources, including many links to IRS and forms (like the 2555-EZ form for Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion). As the article stipulates, if you’re American and work and reside outside the US, you may be able to exclude up to $95,100 USD annually in foreign income. Check out the links above for further information.

AARO has some views on taxation of Americans abroad, worth the read.

Expat and US tax issues seminar in Paris Jan. 25

January 10th, 2012 4 comments

First and foremost,

A healthy, successful and happy new year to you all! I hope you had a restful vacation. I’m back in Paris after a nice trip back home to the US.

As 2012 evolves, there will be an increasing amount of events. One of my goals is to continue to keep you informed about expat events that could be of interest to you. Here is one that came to me just recently. You can contact her for more information (address, etc.).

The law firm Kipling Avocats will be organizing on January 25, 2012 at 2.00 pm in its offices in Paris a two hour seminar on US tax issues for expatriates and the new tax regime applicable to trusts. Anyone interested may contact Virginie Marrervmarrer@kiplingavocats.com.

France to cut 10 billion in tax breaks

With France facing a budget deficit and aiming to make cuts in spending while increasing revenue for the government (and implementing reforms such as the controversial retirement age raise…), it’s no surprise that the government has made this move. For economic background, here’s a brilliant guide from the Economist on Europe’s debt crisis.

For now it seems like France is taking the right actions for now, as its debt ratings from Moody’s remain in good condition. But there have been concerns and warnings that France could face long-term debt problems and thus a credit down-rating (thus undermining their ability to finance the state debt through treasury bonds). Thus it’s important that France continues to reform its system (such as raising the retirement age from 60, the lowest in Europe).

This is from Agence France Presse, taken from the Expatica website.

France to abolish 10 billion euros in tax breaks

President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Friday plans to abolish tax breaks worth 10 billion euros per year, as part of France’s plans to reduce its large public deficit.A statement issued after Sarkozy met his senior economic ministers said general taxation would not increase but that 10 billion euros (12.8 billion dollars) would be raised by abolishing various special tax regimes.

“Any resulting excess in revenues will be entirely assigned to reducing the deficit,” it said, promising to continue with policies of only replacing one retiring civil servant in two and of freezing local government funding. Sarkozy has vowed to maintain state spending at current levels, apart from interest payments and pensions, for the next three years as France battles to bring its ballooning deficit under control.

© 2010 AFP

Effective Strategies for Expatriate Cost Management

Brian Friedman of Totally Expat published this piece on managing expatriate employee costs. Excerpts are below (click on the link for more details, as there are 21 different items discussed):

We all know that expats are expensive and that a significant proportion of assignments fail – but what can be done to manage costs and to maximise the overall return on investment? And in these straitened economic times, we all know that expatriate costs are increasingly under the microscope……. Prioritise. Too many companies try to cut expatriate costs by reducing headcount in the International HR department or by forcing vendors into unsustainable price reductions. The reality however is that it is not internal headcount or vendor fees that make assignees expensive. In fact research undertaken by the Forum for Expatriate Management suggests that in-house costs typically amount to just 1-2%of total assignment costs and external costs amount to no more than 8-10%. The big costs are Assignment Allowances (35%), Property Costs (35%) and Relocation Costs (15%). So if you are looking to control expatriate costs, concentrate on the big ticket items – don’t rush to slash headcount….

Why More U.S. Expatriates Are Turning In Their Passports

Time recently published an article talking about how more Americans abroad are giving up their citizenship mostly due to heavier taxation.

On a related note, I recently wrote a piece interviewing Andy Coyne from Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO) for the April newsletter of My American Market (pages 4-5), and taxation is one of the main topics.

This is certainly a controversial issue, giving up U.S. citizenship. Have any of my readers done this or are considering doing this? Why or why not?

excerpts from the Time article:

John says that since he moved to Europe 25 years ago, U.S. tax regulations have become more and more burdensome. “Every time I turn around, I get smacked in the face with some new restriction as a result of being a U.S. citizen abroad,” he says. And because the U.S. government requires other countries to abide by its banking and financial rules when dealing with expatriates, Americans living abroad are often denied services because of the increasingly complex legalities and logistics involved in serving U.S. customers. Many U.S. expats report being turned away by banks and other institutions in their countries of residence only because they are American, according to American Citizens Abroad (ACA), a Geneva-based worldwide advocacy group for expatriate U.S. citizens.

“We have become toxic citizens,” says ACA founder Andy Sundberg. Paradoxically, by relinquishing their U.S. citizenship, expats can not only escape the financial burden of double taxation, but also strengthen the U.S. economy, he says, adding, “It will become much easier for these people to get a job abroad, and to set up, own and operate private companies that can promote American exports.”

What the Health Care Overhaul Means for Americans Abroad

With the recent passing of the new health care bill in the US, I thought posting this piece from the New York Times was timely:

March 23, 2010, 11:19 AM
What the Health Care Overhaul Means for Americans Abroad
By JENNIFER SARANOW SCHULTZ
On Monday, Times reporters answered reader questions about how the health care overhaul will affect consumers. But one reader question that remained unanswered was how the legislation will affect Americans abroad. Here’s the answer.

According to Tom Rose, chairman of the Association of Americans Resident Overseas‘ Committee on Social Security and Medicare, the legislation doesn’t have any effect on Americans abroad, except that it exempts them from the penalty for not subscribing to health insurance in the United States. “That is only logical as most Americans abroad have coverage in their country of residence,” Mr. Rose said.

Similarly, the Web site of the American Citizens Abroad organization pointed out that, as of January, neither the House nor Senate bill would tax Americans abroad for not having insurance in the United States, and both “specifically exclude overseas Americans from proposed mandatory U.S. health insurance coverage.”

According to the organization, an earlier version of the Senate health plan would have taxed Americans abroad.

But the group noted on its site that provisions for financing the legislation were “likely to affect Americans overseas, whether they be additional taxes on high incomes or increased deductions for Medicare and Social Security (which would affect American-owned businesses abroad).”

How do you think the legislation will affect Americans living abroad? If you’re an expat, how do you think the legislation may affect you?

And now, for a reverse: French expats

November 18th, 2009 3 comments

Plus de deux millions de Français à l’étranger

La Tribune.fr – 09/11/2009 | 12:56 – 544 mots

Au 31 décembre 2008, il y avait 1.427.046 expatriés inscrits au registre consulaire des Français établis hors de France, soit 7,6 % de plus qu’un an auparavant.

La moitié d’entre eux (48 %) est installée en Europe, 20 % en Amérique et 16 % en Afrique. L’Asie-Océanie et le Proche et Moyen-Orient ne représentent que 9 % et 7 % des inscrits, mais ce sont les deux régions qui enregistrent la plus forte croissance, avec respectivement + 10 % et + 12,6 %. L’inscription au registre consulaire étant facultative (mais vivement recommandée), tous les Français qui s’expatrient n’y sont pas inscrits.

En réalité, ils seraient au total quelque 2,2 millions à travers le monde, une population hétérogène, mais bien intégrée. Selon une étude, menée en 2008, par la Maison des Français de l’étranger, plus de 80 % d’entre eux affirment bien maîtriser la langue de travail locale. Et seuls 19 % disent éprouver des difficultés majeures à s’insérer dans la vie sociale de leur pays d’adoption.

Des salariés à hauts revenus
Les expatriés sont des salariés à fort niveau de revenus. 89 % d’entre eux ont un emploi et 60 % gagnent plus de 30.000 euros nets par an, selon une enquête menée en 2008 par la Maison des Français de l’étranger et fondée sur les témoignages de quelque 3.000 expatriés et 300 candidats au départ.

Une autre enquête, réalisée à l’automne 2008 par TNS Sofres, affine le portrait : les expatriés sont des salariés employés par une entreprise locale ou sous contrat local à 48 %, 29 % d’entre eux sont détachés ou expatriés. Enfin côté rémunération annuelle, l’éventail est large selon TNS Sofres : de 28 % qui gagnent moins de 30.000 euros, à 21 % plus de 76.000 euros.

Le retour s’anticipe
Une protection sociale qui peut coûter cher Le salarié qui part travailler dans un pays étranger s’attend en général à devoir s’adapter… Il s’attend moins, en revanche, à devoir le faire quand il rentre. « Pour les impatriés, le retour est souvent difficile, raconte Hélène Charvériat, déléguée générale de l’Union des Français de l’étranger. Pour éviter un trop grand décalage, les entreprises essaient de ne pas faire partir les gens plus de six ans. » Elles ont, en outre, intérêt à évoquer les conditions du re- Quitter la France, cela peut être aussi quitter la Sécurité sociale.

Pour rester affilié à l’organisme, il convient de cotiser à la Caisse des Français de l’étranger (CFE). Celle-ci compte 4.500 entreprises adhérentes et couvre un total de plus de 180.000 personnes dans le monde, principalement en Afrique et en Asie. Elle propose une couverture en matière de maladie et maternité, vieillesse et retraite de base de la Sécurité sociale et accidents du travail et maladies professionnelles.

Pour diminuer les formalités à accomplir, la CFE a passé de nombreux accords de gestion avec des assureurs complémentaires. « Pour la retraite, nous faisons le lien avec des organismes spécialisés, comme la CRE [Caisse de tour dans le contrat de départ. « Nous n’avons pas suffisamment de visibilité pour garantir d’avance tel ou tel poste à un expatrié, relève Hans Vanbets, responsable du management des talents du groupe BNP Paribas.

Mais nous pouvons l’assurer de réintégrer des fonctions comparables à celles qu’il occupe à son départ. » Quelles que soient les précautions, les impatriés n’en ont pas moins besoin d’être accompagnés à leur arrivée, ne serait-ce que sur le plan matériel.

C. G.

Categories: Expat life, French, Taxes Tags: , ,

For British expats: London and Colonial launches EU SIPP for expats

November 17th, 2009 1 comment

London and Colonial launches EU SIPP for expats
International Investment| 16 Nov 2009 | 15:05
Author: Sitanta Ni Mathghamhna

London and Colonial has today announced the launch of the EU SIPP, for individuals resident outside the UK.

The EU SIPP is similar to UK SIPP but enables a wider range of investments including residential property in both the UK and EU, provided they are not used by either the SIPP member or a connected person.
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It allows for a tax free lump sum of 25% of the fund value to be taken from the age of 55, with the remainder providing income, which can be paid monthly, quarterly or annually. There is the additional option to receive ad hoc payments during the year.

The SIPP is primarily aimed at ex-patriot individuals who have been living outside the UK for five tax years or more.

Adam Wrench, Product Development Manager at London & Colonial, says: “When investors move abroad they typically leave their pension behind in the UK or transfer to a QROPS.

“Once they have been resident overseas for at least five tax years, transferring to the EU SIPP will give them more flexibility to manage their retirement options and to make provision for their dependents.”

The EU SIPP pays out 100% to beneficiaries on the member’s death, whereas in the UK, tax rules means up to 82% of an individual’s pension fund is lost on death, even if the member is a non UK resident at the time.

Adam Wrench adds “This provides the opportunity for estate planning to be undertaken knowing tax will not be automatically deducted from the pay-out.”

“Quite often where a husband and wife have emigrated together, in the event of the death of one of them the surviving spouse will return to the UK. With the EU SIPP the non-residency status of the scheme is locked in.”

Additional features of the scheme include no restrictions on borrowing either for the purchase of commercial or residential property or for other purposes, compared to a 50% restriction under UK SIPP rules.

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