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I have searched the archives and cannot find any information on the following, so am spreading the net a little with the following:
Does anyone know what the position would be regarding tax for a couple living permanently in France where the husband works offshore on an oil rig in the North Sea? It would work out that he would spend approximately half the year in France and the other on the oil rig, getting paid in Sterling into a UK bank account.
Any "snippets" of useful information would be much appreciated.
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LAST EDITED ON 08-Jun-04 AT 03:36 PM (BST)

My guess is that, especially if he can work it so he spends just under the half-year in France, he may well maintain his UK tax residency, though if his family and principal residence is in France the French authorities might want their slice of the cake.

Health care is likely to be a bit more difficult. He (and thus you, if you are not working and contributing in France yourself) should be entitled to cover under the appropriate European form (E101/E128 would probably be the ones) but it is apparently very rare for France to agree to renew these more than once, giving you cover for two years only. However, seafarers and their families, tend to be looked on favourably, due to their rather mobile workplace, and your husband could be included in this category.

It is possible for one spouse to be taxed and pay NI contributions in UK and the other in France - we did it for the above-mentioned two years, though it can get a bit complicated.

Will (50)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in the same industry and know of several British nationals who live in the UK yet have set themselves up as French residents. The length of trouble they go to do this is considerable, way beyond merely buying a French pied a terre - one even entrusts his bona fide French resident father with his French credit card to use occasionally just to give the authorities the impression that he himself is actually there - but the benefits are enormous. For aren't there considerable tax breaks for French domiciled oil industry employees?

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  • 3 weeks later...
LAST EDITED ON 06-Jul-04 AT 00:38 AM (BST)

LAST EDITED ON 06-Jul-04 AT 00:31AM (BST)

LAST EDITED ON 06-Jul-04 AT 00:30AM (BST)

If your husband is classified as a mobile worker - same category as seafairer or airline crew then there is nothing "underhand" about the tax situation.
I live in France, permanently, with my family but transit the UK as part of my work, as a "mobile worker".
Since I am
(a)resident in France but
(b)workfor a UK Company, (paid in the UK to a UK bank account) I pay reduced UK income Tax to the UK IR
However I must spend less than 90 days a year in the UK. The balance of my taxation falls into the hands of the French Authorities. The "90 day rule" is crucial here, anymore and the UK IR treat you as a permanent UK resident and you get no tax break. I still pay National Insurance in the UK ( and also pay for cover here in France for the family).
You should be aware that the French/UK bi-lateral Tax treaty is under review at the moment so all this may change in the New Year.

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Almost certainly his employers will have been given guidelines on the treatment of payments to staff. Planning is the key to reducing your tax burden, as you can't change things with hindsight; but you can plan the number of days spent in and out of a country.
try these links for further info:


You can download leaflets or have them posted



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