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UK bank account and domicile status


Phil & Pat

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In the August 2006 issue of Living France (OK, I'm a slow reader) Bill Blevins gave advice on setting up a bank account in France.  He started his article with the words "When considering a move to France you should think about opening a French bank account.  If you are planning a permanent move it is advisable not to keep a UK bank account as this may affect your domicile status."   However, no further explanation is given in the article, and I can find nothing else on the subject in the archives.

I have never seen any similar advice about the holding of a UK bank account given elsewhere.  Can anyone tell me (or speculate on) what he means?

Phil.

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I don't know the total in's and out's of it but residency and domicile are very different animals.

One can change one's residency very easily but domicile is much harder indeed, if you are british born of british parents some say you can never lose your domicile.

One of the tests of domicile would be that you have cut all connections with UK and that would include things like bank accounts.

It's a hughly complex subject but as far as living if France goes it's probably not something most people need to get involved in.

If you Google    residency domicile    you'll get enough hits to keep you busy for a long time [:D]

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[quote user="ErnieY"]

One of the tests of domicile would be that you have cut all connections with UK and that would include things like bank accounts.

[/quote]

If you are referring to tax implications I don't think I agree Ernie. When completing our UK tax returns the question of UK based bank accounts has never been asked in relation to resident, ordinarily resident, domiciled or ordinarily domiciled.

John

not

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Neither I nor the OP mentioned tax John although the presumption must be that that is the underlaying subject but I don't want to get into a discussion about such a nebulous notion.

I will however refer to THIS article which reinforces my comment that it is extrermely difficult to divest one's self of one's domicile.

Of particular interest to me is the sentence.........

"You are given a domicile at birth,  it is normally that of the father ( unless illegitimate or posthumous (born after the death of your father) when it is then that of the mother). Your domicile (in most cases) is the home country of your family at the time of your birth and childhood"

Applying this verbatim my domicile is Austria because that is where I was born to a British Father and Austrian mother and where I spent the first few years of my life.

Having taken up residency in France does that, I wonder, give me licence to stick 2 fingers up at the UK taxman [:P]

Somehow I doubt it.

Finally, I'm becoming less enamoured of advice from BF, "When considering a move to France you should think about opening a French bank account" REALLY [:-))], well I'd never have though of that one.

Also ELSEWHERE that say that pension tax free lump sums are not taxable in France when all evidence is to the contrary.

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[quote user="ErnieY"]

Neither I nor the OP mentioned tax John although the presumption must be that that is the underlaying subject...

[/quote]

Perhaps I should rephrase my question. 

As my wife and I still have UK bank accounts (which we have declared to the French tax man), should the advice from BF cause us any concern? 

If so, why?

Phil.

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I have never in my life heard such advice.  I think you might have misread it.  You can have a bank account anywhere you like, especially if you declare it to the fisc, which you are meant to do if you have any interest (which is income) that comes your way.   It is very handy, now and again, to have a British bank account.  Don't give it up.  I have no idea how or why Blevins would say that.  Did he say why?  Both my wife and I have kept at least two bank accounts in the UK.  One of hers turned out to be VERY useful for money transfers, that is especially cheap.  But you do have to fillout tax forms in France if you live here, even though some immigrants think they can "choose".

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I suspect that what BF are saying, in a round about way, is that an expat is still liable to UK inheritance tax,  unless they renounce their UK domicile (which takes 3 years after completion of DOM1)  and cut off all ties with the UK including bank accounts.  It's one that BF often bring up.

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I think you've hit the nail on the head LL. The one area in which domicile can come into play irrespective of residence is inhertitance tax.

Fortunately [:-))] I'm not sufficiently wealthy to be overly concerned with IHT in either country and will be doing my level best to diminish what wealth I do possess in advance of  the fateful day...[;-)]

When my time comes it is my long stated ambition to use the very last of my money, (be it £ or €), to buy a drink in my favourite bar and die drinking it [:D]

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