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Wills, Offshore accounts/Trusts


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We're about to make a new will and are considering a Discretionary Trust Will to avoid UK IHT. As we're planning on retiring to France in approx 3 yrs, I'm wondering about advantages in making this an offshore trust, where tax on income will be restricted to (say) Jersey.

Then the old brain starts whizzing on the possibility of using offshore accounts for income once we're resident in France. I understand that tax for a French resident is on worldwide assets, but there must be hundreds and thousands who have hidden accounts which are not declared and the jurisdiction of the French tax authorities would not extend to tax havens.

I started looking into this and found a website which suggests that before retiring to France, if you have a UK house to sell..... "It is normally not a good idea to remit the money to France. If you are selling when you move if you time your move correctly you can be resident nowhere for a short while. This is because the UK tax year runs from 6th April to 5th April and the French tax year runs on a calendar basis. If you simply go on holiday (anywhere but not France) in the meantime you may be able to dispose of assets with large gains into a discretionary offshore trust free of Capital Gains Tax. This needs to be done after you leave the UK and before you take up residence in France. Timing is very important and professional advice essential. Provided the offshore structure is set up correctly when you become French resident you will not own the assets and so will not pay any tax on them."

Does anyone have any ideas, advice or experience with this?
I've noticed some website addresses which give advice on French tax but can anyone recommend a really good uptodate book on preparing for retirement financially?

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We have found "Taxation in France" by Charles Parkinson extremely useful. Our copy is dated 2002 and there may well be a more recent edition out now. It is published by PFK(Guernsey) Limited (Tel 01481 727927)and the ISBN is 0-9511991-5-3. Among many other things it has sections on Taking up Residence in France (creating a tax holiday,tax planning through trusts etc) and Retiring in France.

Hope this helps! Good luck,

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I thought I'd posted a reply earlier but it seems to have got lost in the ether. Hope this one works and apologies if it turns out to have been duplicated!

We have found 'Taxation in France' by Charles Parkinson very useful. Our copy is dated 2002 so there may be a newer edition. It is published by PFK(Guernsey) Limited, (Tel 01481 727927) and the ISBN is 0-9511991-5-3. There are sections on creating a tax holiday, tax planning through trusts etc etc and lots of useful information on the financial aspects of retiring to France.

Hope this helps,

Good luck - Val
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