Domicile and Tax Returns

Good Morning! I’m sure this is covered somewhere in your extensive posts but I can’t find specifics at this time so apologies in advance.

My wife and I bought a property in France (October '17) and moved in December '17. After extensive research I understand that we are classed as domiciled due to the amount of time we spend in France. I therefore realize that we would have to fill in a tax return even though our only income is derived from UK pensions and interest, rental income and some teaching (via Skype back to the UK). I’m registered as a sole trader in the UK so fill in a HMRC tax return.

My question is: When do I receive a tax return form (does it plop through my letterbox one day?) or do I have to be proactive (download form, visit local tresor etc?). I’m trying to do the right thing as I know that many “residents” flaunt French law re. tax, carte grise etc). I haven’t received a TdF or TdH yet - would we be given a tax number at this time or do I have to apply for one? It appears I need one sooner rather than later to carte grise my UK registered car (ANTS).

Many thanks in advance if members could help with any of this!

Right its all pretty simple - except for the teaching by Skype bit …

You obviously do that from France - under the taxation treaties that’s French income. So set up as an AE and declare that as French income. Work/tax in the UK assumes you leave France to do it. Pop back to the UK - teach for 3 days then come home - that’s fine as a UK sole trader - do the work in France then it falls under French income. For one year I’d quietly forget declare it as UK income and set up an AE now. Does have the added advantage of near automatically entering you into the French health system.

As to the rest - the tax return … well the simple answer is you moved on the 31st December … then you only need to do a return in 2019 - if you want to establish an earlier date then yes download tax forms - declare how many weeks of December 2017 income - the deadlline for 2017 has passed mind.

The numbers … you submit year 1 tax return - that creates a tax number - which will be on the demand that follows a couple of months later. You will also get a “code”/reference which you’ll need the following year… The following years tax form will arrive in the post - that has the online reference you need - at this point using the tax number - the online number and the reference number on the demand from the previous year allows you to set up for online returns - simple really.

TdH etc will appear this autumn - the Notaire will have dealt with 2017


Please don’t advise people to break the law. It’s potentially dangerous and costly for them if they take your advice.

The correct thing to do ,of course, is to advise HMRC that you left the UK in December 2017 by completing a self-assessment tax return for the period 6 April 2017 to the date of your departure.

You can then advise the tax authorities in France that you have arrived here and are self-employed. The correct thing to do is to advise of the actual date even if that means you have to complete a tax return for just a few weeks. The tax year in France is on a calendar year basis.


You can get a friend or neighbour to log onto ANTS for you or pay a third party business to do the paperwork for you.
Don’t jump into becoming an Micro-Entrepreneur until you looked at the pros and cons of working in France and the effect that that might on the way that you receive your OAP etc.

1 Like

While the various acronyms for french services used in this thread and elsewhere may be obvious to some, (AE for instance) please bear with those newbies like me, who are unaware what it stands for - though I can appreciate it relates to income declaration.


It used to stand for auto entrepreneur, which was the name of the simplified sole trader/freelancer regime. This regime has now been renamed to micro entrepreneur and although the basic principle is the same (social contributions paid as a percentage of turnover rather than income to simplify accounting, option to pay income tax likewise, etc) many of the details have evolved significantly and continue to do so, so beware reading old posts about “AE”.
Hope this helps.