My father, 92 years old has returned to Uk for good. He has lived in the var for 30 years. His house was sold 5 days ago and the money arrived in the uk today. We now have to try and wrap up his french commitments from here. He was a french resident and has a french bank account.
Will he be able to pull money out of that bank account from the uk?
How does he deal with his taxes for the house?
Does he just need to notify them that the house has changed hands?
He pays income tax in France but it’s done one year in arrears over 12 months. Could he pay it in one go and then close his french account?
He struggles with all this and his french is deserting him.
Any advice gratefully received
Presumably he sold his house using a Notaire so all of the taxes on that should have been dealt with then. What do you mean by pull money? If he has internet banking he can easily transfer money to the U.K., probably using something like Transferwise. He will have to complete a tax return in May covering his income during last year. He will have to contact his bank about closing the account and that should be possible by letter, it would just be simpler face to face. You might also have to cancel any insurance policies as they will not lapse automatically.
Yes, the notaire sold the house on my fathers behalf so he did not have to be there.
Would the notaire notify the office for the payment of the local taxes? The owners would start paying soon I imagine.
By pulling I mean the transfer of money from his french account to a uk one. It is not an internet account. We need to do that from the uk. He can’t travel any more.
He is starting to lose his memory so none of this is easy for him.
Will check his house insurance
The Notaire should have dealt with the local taxes. As the house was sold after January first your father will be liable for some taxes this year but hopefully the Notaire will have sorted that before releasing the money. You will need to contact his bank for advice about his account.
Will check with the notaire. Thanks for your replies
If he is starting to lose his memory, may I suggest you obtain a Continuing Power of Attorney asap, as he will have to be able to agree.
This will give you control of his finances and also any health decisions you may need to make on his behalf going forward.
FWIW I would advise not to be in too much of a hurry to close his French bank account. If you close it prematurely and then find there are bills left to pay, it can turn into a real hassle, and could be even more hassle after Brexit.
For instance, property taxes are always sent out around the last quarter of the year (Sept to Dec) and are always addressed to the person who owned/occupied the property on 1st Jan of the year, even if they’ve moved since. I don’t see how the notaire could possibly settle these in advance because the amount to be paid isn’t known yet, the tax rate is liable to change each year and is decided by the town council usually in late Spring.
Likewise he may possibly still have tax to pay after his tax return in May, he won’t know for definite until he gets his Avis later in the year when his return has been processed. He can’t submit a tax return yet because the tax forms change each year and this year’s forms don’t become available until shortly before the window for declarations opens. When he fills in the form, if he can enter a date prior to the end of 2018 when he left France, that will hopefully avoid him being pursued by the tax people next year.
As David said, check what insurances he has and make sure these get cancelled.
Also as David said, look at Transferwise asa means of shifting money across the Channel.
It’s a difficult time but maybe make checklists and tick things off as you do them, to try and minimise confusion and stress. Good luck, I hope all goes smoothly and he settles peacefully back in the UK.
Do you have any contacts locally who could explain the situation to your father’s bank?
You might get demands for various payments long afterwards. it would be useful to maintain a French account. We thought we had tied up the loose ends, but still got bills for taxe d’habitation, and long after the French bank account was closed we had a bill from whoever administers the Carte Bleue.
He has a contact within the bank. They knew he was planning to return to the uk. He will need to leave it open until his income taxes are paid. I wasn’t sure if he could then transfer the remaining money to the uk without actually going there
When I was still living in UK… I sent a Fax to my French bank (Credit Agricole) asking them to pay certain bills, make certain transfers… naturally I provided the relevant information.
If your Father’s French bank already know about him being back in UK… it will surely be no surprise if he writes and asks them to transfer the balance to a UK Bank Account in his own name… They will, presumable know his signature ??
Incidentally, unless his income has vastly changed from that of 2017… surely an allowance for Income Tax can be made and the balance can come across without much delay… especially, since 2018 is a blank year, apart from Investment Income and stuff like that… if it is just his pension, no worries…
That sounds like a good plan. Thanks for the advice
One further thought. If your father was a french tax resident it will be six years of residency in another country before the french tax accepts he is no longer under their regulations. I’m not sure of the details as I’ve not done this myself but I do believe this is the case. Best to try and contact his local tax office and they could confirm this. I’ve found local tax offices very helpful and ready with advice. Of course you will need to find a french speaker.
This is an interesting angle… Personal Taxation…
If the gentleman gets himself onto the UK Taxation scheme (I am presuming this is possible)… surely that, in itself, will be sufficient for the French Authorities…
If he no longer lives/has property/ in France… and is, in fact, now registered as Tax Payer in UK…
A reversal of what so many Brits have done on arrival in France…
and many wealthy French go abroad to avoid Declaring/Paying in France… surely it doesn’t take them 6 years…??? or does it…
We obviously need some clarification…
Stella I’m no tax expert I’m just handing on what someone once told me and I recently remembered this during the Carlos Goahn (oops spelling??) stories when the bbc said he’d been tax resident since 2012. I remember when he arrived in Tokyo before I left which was mid 2008. Thus six years or so before his tax residéncy. But I could be absolutely wrong. Just thought it might be worth handing on. Though I’m sure the gentleman this thread concerns has a much simpler tax return than Mr CG. !!!
Fortunately, Patrick’s Dad’s situation is much, much easier…
His place of Residency is now UK… nothing apart from a small bank account remains in France… so, as soon as contact is made with UK Tax Folk… the situation will be clarified.