Aussies in France 2015 to 2020... and onwards

My wife and I relocated to Correze from Melbourne in March this year. I am retired and drawing superannuation from Australia and my wife does a little work via the internet and draws superannuation entitlements.

As the time approaches to think about taxation matters I was wondering if there any Aussies out there who have been through the process before and if there are any recommendations for any accountants who may have experience of dealing with any cross-border issues between France and Australia.

Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks Tony

I will check out the sites, but they do appear to specialise in corporate work, with a little individual tax work predominantly in Australia.

I am awaiting for my French accountant to get back to me after asking the question of the Tax Department here in France. You may or may not be aware that although Tax is a federal issue in France, often each Department has a different interpretation form their neighbouring Departments.....makes life interesting to say the least.

The Bi-lateral Tax agreement does not mention superannuation which does not exist in France. It does however have a section referring to "pension income" (See Article 17) which infers that pension income is treated and taxed as normal income. Our question remains is the full "pension payment" taxable or only the earning component .....I believe that it should be the latter.

If you are coming to France permanently then it could be smarter to withdraw your funds for superannuation (provided of course you meet normal preservation and release requirements in OZ) and then draw down on the savings as and when needed. In this case only the earnings on your funds are taxable.

With regards to Social Cotisations it is our experience that these are levied on all non pension income at the standard rate of 15.5%. Normally pension payments could also be levied at the same rate but in our case they are not because we do not use the French Social Security system and therefore should not have to pay for it. We have lodged tax for three years now and no issues with regards to the Social Levies, but this is our first year of actually drawing a pension payment.

If you are not a resident of France for tax purposes then there should not be any issues.

Hope this might help a little and I will hopefully let you know when I get clarification on the treatment of the pension income.

I have also produced a basic Survival Guide (Tips on things like Carte Sejour, Driver's licence, Bank Accounts etc) aimed at Australians looking to make a permanent move to France. If you would like a copy let me know and I will email direct to you.

On the taxation of Australian Super you might want to contact a company in Sydney called Bilateral Solutions (led by a an accountant qualified in France and Australia) -

I found them through the Australian Embassy Paris website under the "Accountants" link

If you click on the "Accountants" link you get the file attached.

I will probably retire to France but am not yet resident there. I am interested in what you find out - not just in relation to French Income tax but also French social charges in their treatment of superannuation. The current France-Australia Double Taxation Agreement does not specifically mention superannuation, whereas the one with Switzerland does.


Hi Deborah, welcome aboard.

Generally as I understand it, the spouse of a non French EU citizen is entitled to reside with them in France without issue. The Carte Sejour is effectively a "Residency Card" which confirms your right to residency within the country. As I understand there are two types of Visa requirements to enter the country, being SHORT stay(up to 90 days) or LONG Stay(usually 12 months and renewable with a Carte Sejour).

You do not need to apply for a Visa to enter France, but you may require a visa if you intend to stay for periods longer than 90 days in other Schengen countries.

I also was of the opinion that you could only apply for the Carte Sejour once in France via OFFI, which is the equivalent of their Immigration Dept.

Carte Sejour's are often "renewable" meaning that you have to renew the application every year. This may however, not apply for the Carte Sejour for the spouse of an EU Citizen. We are here on Long Stay Visitor visas as we do not have any EU alignment. As such we have to renew every year, but after 5 years we can receive "permanent residency"

The AE status is an abbreviation of "Auto-Entrepreneur". This is a form of self employment whereby the administration and tax regimes are meant to be a little easier. Some people say it works well, others still have issues.

I would think that if you are only going to be here for a couple of months at a time, that you may not require the Carte Sejour or the AE, but perhaps worth checking with the French Consulate.

Brush up on your french either will help.

Good luck


Hi, I am an Aussie and new to this group and have some questions I hope you can help with.

We recently bought a house in France and intend to spend several months there each year. My husband has an EU passport. I have put in an application for a Carte Sejour but unsure what this will mean as far as time I can stay in France. also what is AE status.

Cheers Debbie

Thanks Paul

I would be interested on the taxation situation as we have been informed that the entire pension payment is taxable as income. The French do not have anything like our super and allocated pensions so find it hard to determine.

The Bi-lateral Tax Agreement is vague other than to say that Australian Pensions are to be taxed in France. I agree with you that in principle, the capital component should not be considered for income tax, but just going on what we were told by our local Tax office. One thing is clear in France and that is that different Tax offices may and often do have differing interpretations of the laws and agreements. Nothing is too simple.

I am assuming then that your wife has the carte sejour for being the spouse of an EU citizen. If she is on a Visitor Visa we have been told in no uncertain terms that my wife could not apply for AE status. We are still taxed on world wide income and this includes obviously all of our income from Australia, which is probably 95% of it.

We are living on the border of the Gironde and the Dordogne in a town called Sainte Foy la Grande

Keep me informed please of any developments regarding the tax on pensions. I would be grateful



Thanks Graham
I am an accountant myself and I would be surprised if France levied tax on the whole super balance. Maybe for wealth tax (in due course) but not income tax.
If I get any further info I will certainly let you know.
My wife has a carte sejour and has registered as an auto entrepreneur so pays tax on her earnings.
I have an EU passport as well as Australian.

Hi Paul

We are Aussies and have been living here for close to 3 years. We are also retired and have started drawing on our own "super" pensions. You maybe in for a bit of a shock as although "allocated pensions" are tax free in OZ, they are fully taxable in France as we have been told. There is an accountant in Montignac in the Dordogne that we have used and he is actually quite good..........english speaking and has some experience now in dealing with aussies.

Our biggest concern is whether we should only be being taxed on the actual earnings of the super fund or on the entire pension amount....he is currently of the opinion that the Agreement between France and Aust says the entire amount is taxable, but we have heard differently from someone else, so we need to finally clarify it with him and the Tax Office.

Are you here on a Visa or do you have an EU passport?

If you are on Long Stay Visitor Visa, be careful about receiving an income within France (Your wife's Internet work) If it is paid to her directly in France you could be in breach of your visa.....we had to re-organise my wife's internet shop back thru Australia and have all income received in our Aust Bank accounts (still declared as income in France however)

Let me know if you find out anything differently

Graham R

PM = private message

No advice sorry, but I just love the word "superannuation". It is on my list of favourite words for some reason :-D

Thank you Peter

Paul click on 'MEMBERS' then tap in 'Norman Clark' then click on 'Send a message' - you will invite him to be your friend and he will reply (normally !)

Hi Peter

Many thanks. Not sure what a 'PM' is or how to find Norman, I'm very new to SFN!

Hi Paul - try a 'PM' to Norman Clark, he may have some info for you. He isn't too far from you either.

Hi Graham (and other Aussie who could help)
I read a few of your posts on Tax returns in France. I need to file a tax return for 2016 in France (with investments in Australia, but reside in France) and would like to know if you could recommend an accountant or the one you use.
Thank you in advance.

Hi Ana

We have been here now for 4 years and have lodged our tax returns here for
the past 3 years. Not unlike yourself we have financial assets in Australia
but are Tax residents of France and therefore need to lodge our returns in

I have been using a Tax accountant based in Montignac in the Vezere Valley
north of Sarlat…not sure that this geographically good for you or not,
but we visited him for an initial meeting and then everything has been done
on line without problems. He is French and English registered, and now has
experience with Australia through our work and he has had to review the
Franco-Aust Tax Treaty. He speaks very good English.

Where abouts are you based in France?

He is not the cheapest agent but he does a pretty good job…a lot of the
cost for us was for initial research into the treaty, but now he has done
that you should not require that type of researc. His details are below:

Olaf Muscat Baron
Firm name : FISCALY
Ph: 09 81 09 00 15
Address: 30B rue du 4 Septembre, 24290, Montignac

Hope this info is useful for you


Graham Roberts

Hi Graham,
Thank you so much for your prompt response and details of your accountant; I’m glad I contacted you and am able to benefit from your experience. I live in the Lot so I’m an hour and 1/2 away from Montignac. I’ve been here for a couple of years and my last Tax return 2015 was completed by a French accountant; my husband is an EU citizen but was not living in France that year, so less complicated, but now he is).

Best wishes,

Good luck with it all…we found it fairly painless and with Olaf mostly
done online


Thank you Graham.

I have looked through the thread on French taxation of Australian superannuation. Various questions were raised and useful opinions given. Can anyone tell me if there have been definite answers, and if so, where these can be found. The main questions as far as i can gather are:
Is the pension income from Australia taxed in France and if so at what rate?
Is the entire pension pot subject to yearly income tax - and if so how does this happen?

I would be very grateful for answers, or pointers in a direction where they may be found…
Thank you