Exit:Taxes and banking loose ends


(Frances Harrison) #1

I know some SFN members used to live in France but no longer do. There's a possibility that might be forced on me soon so I have questions about tying up loose ends in France.


My bank once told me that if I left France permanently I would have to close my bank account. The problem is, I won't be paid my salary for the final month of work nor the thousands owed me for overtime for the year until 6 weeks after I will have been forced to leave. That's how the public system works in education. This seems immoral to me. I am a contracted uni teacher whose right to work in France (and thus live) will expire in August if I don't miraculously have a new contract by July. I have ZERO confidence the uni/state system would transfer my money owned to a NZ account - snort! How do I get paid if I am no longer in the country?


Taxes. If I leave in August I won't have paid my tax d'habitation for the year. Do I have to do that even if I'm no longer here? I also won't be in the country and earning in 2016 to pay the normal impots for 2015 ( not having a PAYE system here is a nightmare). Frankly, I'm as poor as a church mouse and will struggle to find the money for my airfare back to NZ but don't want to fall foul of THE STATE. If I don't pay the year in advance owing will I be stopped at the border if I ever try to come back to France for a visit in the future? Will the fonctionnaires even be able to organise the system for me to pay in avance (assuming I must)? Sometimes letting those sleeping dogs lie is best.


What do those of you who understand the systems here think I should do?


(Trude Rice) #2

I can sympathise - but the double tax treaty is put there to help not to hinder. If you don't make a claim, I can see a possibility that your French income between 1 April and 31 August will be taxed in both New Zealand and France, and that your New Zealand income between 1 September and 31 December will be taxed in both France and New Zealand. BUT a treaty claim should mean that only one country could dig its paws in. Grab a glass of your favourite sustaining beverage and have a go!


(Frances Harrison) #3

Trude - can of worms that. I've always kept the two countries completely separate and have always 'done my duty' paying their taxes. I'm getting to the state of mind right now where I just wish governments would p*** off and leave me alone. They certainly haven't made a positive contribution in my life and have destroyed 3 different careers I've tried to build. Sorry, ranting. Just feeling stressed by the fact I've paid taxes in both countries and apparently don't 'belong' anywhere now.


(Trude Rice) #4

I think you also need to contact some one who knows the terms of the double tax treaty between France and New Zealand, to find out which country has taxing rights in circumstances when you have been resident in both during parts of the same fiscal year.


(Kirsty Snaith) #5

Hi Frances,

I work for a French university and only get paid twice a year - end of March, end of July (at best). I'm fairly sure there's no need to close your French bank account as soon as you leave the country; you can certainly wait until all monies have been paid in before you do that.

As for taxes, my advice would be to go to your nearest tax office and explain the situation. In my experience, the personnel there are friendly, helpful and considerate (I know, it seems unlikely, but it's true, both here in Montpellier and in Lyon). I'm fairly sure there are ways to get round this (not get out of paying, that would be pretty hard, but you can usually set up payment schemes etc. I've done so on several occasions without problem).

Good luck!


(jennie sweeney) #6

I left France four years ago and I still have a French current account along with 4 savings accounts. I moved to another EU country and still use my French accounts, the current account on a regular basis as the charges are less than my bank here. I have never been asked to close my accounts at any time and I would question the legality in this as I kept my UK account all the time I lived in France, 15 yrs and still have that one as well along with my UK investments, again, never been asked yto do anything about those either.

You will still have to make a tax declaration in for 2015 in 2016 and then pay whatever is owing on the due date next year. I had a business in France but as I left part way through the tax year, my taxes where less than usual, so was my tva.


(Haydn E Ebbs) #7

I can't help you with the tax issues but there is no reason why the bank should close your account if you leave France.

I have bank accounts in 3 European countries due to travel etc....