Carte Vitale for UK tax payer?

Does anyone know if it is possible to access the healthcare system in France whilst paying tax as a self employed person in UK

The French health system is for French residents. If you are resident in the UK and paying U.K. tax on your income from being self employed, no. You will need to obtain an EHIC to cover you while you are in France.

French resident with Ltd company in UK

Have you contacted HMRC about an S1?

Thanks for links. No not yet heard they were not being issued?

If you are French resident and you are running your business from France, you are legally obliged to register a French business structure. You will then pay cotisations and get your carte vitale.

If you are a French resident but you run your business from the UK, ie you physically go back to the UK to work, you need to apply to HMRC for a workers S1. If your application is accepted, then you take your S1 to CPAM and they issue your carte vitale.

That’s how the system is designed to work.

There’s no middle way. If you’re not eligible for NHS cover and an S1, you must register your business in France and pay cotisations here, otherwise you will be stranded without healthcare (and technically, you are working illegally in France). You can keep a UK business registration as well if you want, some people do, but it is an added complication and doesn’t avoid the need to register a French business.

The criteria for the workers S1 include having been self-employed in the UK for a certain length of time prior to applying, and spending a certain minimum of working time in the UK during the year or alternatively, be working in France on temporary secondment, ancillary to your main activity in the UK. If you have moved to France permanently and are running the business from France you are unlikely to get one. A self employed person’s business is based where their bum is when they do the activity that earns the dosh. If your bum is in France and you haven’t been issued with an S1 then you shouldn’t be paying NICs in the UK since you are no longer eligible for NHS cover be,ause you are no longer UK resident. You can’t choose which social security system you pay into, any more than you can choose where you pay your income tax; if your bum is in France during work time, your income is taxable in France. These things are decided on set criteria.


The S1s that are no longer issued are those for inactifs. They are still issued to OAPs and those who are eligible for a workers’S1 (as explained in Anna’s post above).

Interesting!! it is not quite cross border work but online business with UK clients!! So either way it is impossible to pay tax in UK and cotisations in France??

Where your clients are, makes no difference at all to the taxman. All he looks at is, where you are when carry out the activity that earns the money. If your office is in France or if you’re sitting at a computer at your home in France, then it is classed as French income and it is taxable in France. If you also have a UK business address and you divide your time between the two, it would come down to details of actual working time spent in each country. I think you need to look at the criteria for fiscal residence for each country, decide how they apply to you, and take it from there. But since you call yourself “French resident”, and haven’t mentioned going back to the UK to work, it sounds like that is going to be your answer.

Apart from anything else, paying income tax in the UK and cotisations in France sounds to me like the worst of both worlds, because cotisations are significantly higher in France and income tax, in many cases, is slightly higher in the UK.


I was in your exact situation. Am now in throws of registering auto here. Keeping UK biz registered (not tax paying). Will pay N.I and keep an address with family. It was so so stressful trying to find a work around. There really isn’t one. So am now registering full steam ahead here. I want to protect my family with health cover and be in a position to access help within the system. The guys and gals here know their onions. Anna has been a great help with all her detailed replies.


I think that you have answered the questions. If you are a French resident and physically in France while you are working you should be paying tax in France and registered in France for your healthcare. I don’t know the ins and outs but if your income is coming from your U.K. company that company should be contributing to your healthcare costs in France and that is not a cheap option.

Why would you do this? Under EU rules you are not allowed to pay contributions to the social security systems of two different EU states at the same time, so if you’re paying cotisations in France as a micro entrepreneur you shouldn’t also be paying NICs. It’s not necessary - if you’re covered you’re covered, there’s no point in being covered twice - and it risks muddying the waters, in case you end up with both countries trying to shunt responsibility onto the other.
You can probably arrange to pay voluntary contributions in the UK if you want to top your pension up. But if you don’t live in the UK, you shouldn’t give a UK address to make them think you do.

But I do have a UK address…it’s just not my primary place of residence. It’s not a facade. That’s all I want to do, is keep up NI contributions. Business and bank accounts stay registered to that address. I won’t have any tax to pay. Seeing as it’s not being paid in to that account anymore. Apart from a couple of of hundred a month. Will just declare it.

I think the proper way to do this would be to apply to pay Class 2 voluntary contributions

The difference is that voluntary contributions recognise the fact that you live abroad and are therefore not entitled to NHS cover, so it’s all above board, and HMRC won’t get confused and expect you to fill in your tax form as a UK resident, declare worldwide income and pay tax in the UK.


I’ve friends here who have had some very complex medical issues…and had they closed their UK doors they would be one family member down. I don’t fancy being faced with that scenario. France couldn’t handle his condition. Mind you, they’ve a limited company in UK. That’s how they do it perhaps. Plus I need to keep my UK bank account open and have an address there for various reasons. Just as half my clients do who work at sea and are based in France or Spain as their main place of residency. They do the same. Here I am again. Head versus brick wall.

I know the feeling!!

I’m just going to find a rich French bloke to marry and be done with it all. There! No, I won’t really. :joy:

I’d rather trust my life to the French health system than the NHS.

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They couldn’t handle my friend’s condition. He had treatment in UK. Has now improved and returned to work.

I don’t believe you. What a strange claim.