Declaring Total Income ?.. Under the Radar? - Have you received your Avis?

Just thought this might be about the right time to mention Declarations and Taxes.

With so many folk wondering what will happen after Brexit… the Date of Residency could well be important. For anyone who is not already making their Declaration here in France … 2018 might be the year to start.

So, if you are residing here (maybe under the radar) get your Declaration of Total Income Received in 2017… ready to go…take your time, you have until May to formulate your figures.

The UK would also need to be informed they’ve left, and if they’re still submitting tax returns to HMRC as if still resident, picking a leaving date prior to April 2017 would be awkward. But I agree that anyone in that situation needs to be figuring out how to regularise it if they want to stay because trying to keep a foot in both camps looks like it won’t work much longer.

Anna… serious question… what would be the problem if someone declares in France and in UK??

In other words, they declare 2017 total income… here in France this year and tell UK in retrospect that they have actually left UK …

I’m scared to answer now in case Dominic thinks I’m wrong.

But my view is that according to the tax treaty, you can only have one main residence, and that’s the country where you declare total worldwide income. Any other country where you have a tax liability, you pay tax as a non resident.

The issue would be that where you pay tax is determined by where you are resident, and also you get certain perks that are only available to residents. If you have declared yourself resident in two countries simultaneously there will be all kinds of complications and retrospective sorting out to do. Should your OAP if you have one have been taxed in France or the UK? If you’ve already paid tax in the UK but you shouldn’t have, you’ll have to pay tax in France because that’s where it should have been taxed, and reclaim from HMRC the tax that you paid there. Should your UK bank interest have been paid interest free in the UK and taxable in France? Are you entitled to tax free ISAs and Premium bonds income or are you entitled to tax free Livret A income? Of course if your income is low and you don’t pay tax it’s not an issue, but the more tax you pay the more disentangling there will be to do if you’ve paid it in the wrong place.

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Mmm… see what you mean… could be complicated… if someone has been receiving Benefits only payable to UK Residents… whilst being here in France… :thinking:

Other than that, I don’t see any insurmountable problem. If someone intends to be French Resident… there are a great many things to work out, that’s all.

No it’s not insurmountable, just awkward, as I said. Tax offices need everything black and white, and if there are contradictions in the records they query them (if / when they notice).

Well, I reckon this is something that folk might do well to face up to now… rather than wish they had done so… a year or two down the line… when it might well be too late.

Tax folk are not Ogres (not all, anyway)… :hugs:

Touch wood I’ve never had a problem with the fisc here. And the problems I had with HMRC weren’t because they were ogres, more that you couldn’t shake a response out of them or if you did, it was a standard letter that didn’t answer your question. I once spent a long time composing a letter asking for clarification and advice on certain points, and I stapled it to my tax return. They processed the tax return but didn’t respond to the letter and when I chased it up they said they hadn’t received it. Firmly stapled it was, they couldn’t possibly have received one without the other. I suspect it went straight into the bin because I hadn’t been able to resist complaining that I’d asked the same questions many times and was still waiting for an answer, and it was at a time when HMRC was getting bad press for its poor response rate and the number of complaints it was receiving.

How do you view my position
Up until recently I didn’t reside in France full time. ( maison secondaire since 2006) However I came on a visit in December 2017 and have only now decided I would like to stay. So if I tell HMRC this week do I say I became a resident say from today or from the beginning of this visit I.e Dec.

I would say neither. Be practical and say January 1st. I’m sure that this is not the official answer but it’s what I would do.

When we “moved” we did so on 6 April of the year in question… so agree there’s a practical advantage of having things start/finish related to one of the tax years. Such a pain having to juggle dates for the two tax returns as it is, so every little helps.

HMRC never queried this strange coincidence!

Hello Pauline

From a UK tax point of view I doubt it matters very much whether you say December or February unless you had a major tax event during that period that would be taxable in the UK if you were resident there. From a French tax point of view then a date on or after 1 January would be preferable just to avoid a fiscal presence in France in the 2017 tax year.

As a tax adviser in my previous life I would say it’s best to tell the truth. Not being truthful about a seemingly inconsequential issue such as this could make the authorities wonder if there was anything else you weren’t being entirely truthful about. In my experience it’s not worth the risk.


What is the truth Mandy? Isn’t that the problem?

The truth is that the person does not know which way is best… and there is nothing to lose by discussing the matter face-to-face at the local tax office.

France works January 1st to December 31st… so France may say start Jan 1st 2018. However, in order to gain a year on the Residency bit (perhaps) France may well be content to let the person start during December 2017… nothing to be lost by asking the question.

I’m assuming that what Pauline has told us is the truth. Intention (as well as counting days resident) is very important when considering residency. The problem is not what the truth is the problem is proving it and convincing the relevant authorities.

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Yes the truth
However I guess I was thinking if I say from Dec then I would do a French tax return this May if I say Feb one wouldn’t be due until May 19 am I correct in thinking that.

Yes, you Declare in 2018 figures from 2017…

If you arrive in jan/Feb or whenever in 2018… you declare in 2019… and so on.

Unless you are employed, where the situation is different…

Thanks everyone

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Ask at your tax office, but I suspect that if you say you arrived in December they’ll say don’t bother doing a tax return this May. It’s highly unlikely there would be any tax to pay on 1 month’s income, and although arguably, technically you should, in practice their view is likely to be that it would just create pointless work for the tax office.

Absolutely so… Anna… but in this instance, to have a document dated 2018 might just help in future negotiations re Brexit etc…

It must be worth a chat with those in charge… :thinking: It would be interesting to hear what they say… if you do go ahead and speak with them.