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Were we French residents for income tax?


Megan le Fey

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Help please............................I have done a search and not found an answer.

We left France 26/10/2007 after being French residents in rented property for over 6 years.  We returned to the UK for the very first time in about 30 years to have a look around.  We absolutely hated UK and scuttled back to France 15/4/2008 and we moved into a different rented home in a different department and that is where we are now.  We were in the UK and away from France for a total of 170 days. Having been resident in France for the first 10 months of their 2007 tax year I filed a French tax return online at the appropriate time but I subsequently received the notification of tax due with all income all zeroed out and the statement that we were non-residents.  I took it to our local tax office where I was informed that as we were not resident on 01/01/2008 we were non-residents for the tax year ending 31/12/2007.  Is this correct or has my seriously appalling French let me down again?

I suspect that the problem is that we were more or less itinerant during those 170 days as we had no home in France and were in a winter holiday let in UK so without any formal rental agreement there.  We are trying to claim non-resident status in UK and get our personal allowances back but I guess we had to have been resident somewhere.

I really, really want to still be a French tax resident - the tax benefits over paying UK tax in our circumstances are quite significant so I would appreciate any advice anyone can offer.

 

 

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Hi,

      Strictly speaking, you should have made a declaration when you left in Oct 2007 (there is a special form for this). On all criteria you were tax resident in France for the year 2007 and should have declared your income here-in my opinion for the whole year as you did not become resident elsewhere.

      Similarly you were resident for 2008 and should declare that year's income here.

      You should not need to contact the UK revenue, but if you have already, then I suggest you PHONE the non-residents section (details on website) and explain. Unless you are fabulously wealthy I doubt if they will be very interested in pursuing you for the 170 days you were "fiscal nomads".

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Thank you Parsnips,  I hope you are right and from my searching I believe that you are.  We were resident in France for far longer than the 183 days and for the 10 months of the French 2007 tax year that we were here, our home was both our principal and only home.  The thing was that the girl at the local tax office kept harping on about us not being resident on 1st January 2008 which is not actually even (I think) part of the 2007 tax year.  Perhaps she was just plain wrong or perhaps she thought I meant the tax d'habitation.  At least she found us on their computer which is something I suppose.  I think I must try to make an appointment to sit in someones office and discuss it instead of standing in a queue and arguing at the reception desk. 

Unfortunately, the UK revenue are already on to it.  We arranged to have our pensions paid into a UK bank account for the period we were to be in UK and they showed remarkable efficiency,  within a few weeks they were making deductions from my husband's pension and now, a year later they are still doing it.  Add that to the exchange rate and ........................[:(] gloom.  I have finally received a bunch of forms to complete which do show that we were not  UK residents, however, it seems that I also have to prove that we were French residents.

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[quote user="Megan le Fey"]

Thank you Parsnips,  I hope you are right and from my searching I believe that you are.  We were resident in France for far longer than the 183 days and for the 10 months of the French 2007 tax year that we were here, our home was both our principal and only home.  The thing was that the girl at the local tax office kept harping on about us not being resident on 1st January 2008 which is not actually even (I think) part of the 2007 tax year.  Perhaps she was just plain wrong or perhaps she thought I meant the tax d'habitation.  At least she found us on their computer which is something I suppose.  I think I must try to make an appointment to sit in someones office and discuss it instead of standing in a queue and arguing at the reception desk. 

Unfortunately, the UK revenue are already on to it.  We arranged to have our pensions paid into a UK bank account for the period we were to be in UK and they showed remarkable efficiency,  within a few weeks they were making deductions from my husband's pension and now, a year later they are still doing it.  Add that to the exchange rate and ........................[:(] gloom.  I have finally received a bunch of forms to complete which do show that we were not  UK residents, however, it seems that I also have to prove that we were French residents.

[/quote]

Hi,

       The way to prove that you were french residents is to make a french declaration for 2007 and complete the double taxation form. The girl at the tax office does not appear to know what she is talking about (a situation not very rare in french civil" servants "), You should try to see someone further up the kicking order--take all the forms you have received from the UK and all income details from 2007, and if not proficient in french, try to find someone french/english capable to go with you.

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