French residents selling UK ISA stocks or UK Life Insurance stocks

Hi folks, the problem is in the title. I’ve been trying to get advise from the experts, but they’re all telling me different things and I don’t know who to believe. Unfortunately the horrible truth is probably 30% capital gains tax calculated between buying price and selling price. However I have heard that perhaps it’s only calculated from policy value at the time of becoming a French resident until selling price, and I have also heard there could be reductions for the number of years the policy is held, or other reductions. Anybody know the real truth?
The gain is simply declared the following year in the tax declaration and the payment added to the tax bill or it’s a bit more complicated than that? Thanks

Hi Peter

Can’t help you with your query I’m afraid but would you mind entering your full name per the site T&C


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Hi and welcome. Investments which have been held for more than two years qualify for a 50% reduction of your gain before tax is applied, so if your gain is 10,000 and you’ve held the investment for two years, you are only taxed on 5,000.
As for the start-date of the capital gain accrual, I can’t say. There are online and telephone advice services who should be able to give you an answer.

Brian, thanks. If that’s right, that’s great news. The accounts have been held for well over 2 years. Yes, I’ve contacted 3 or 4 different advisors and they’ve all been helpful, but they haven’t all told me the same information. 2 of them have said it’s a full 30% CGT, others have suggested like you that there are ways to reduce it. Is it exactly the same rules for the sale of foreign (UK) held policies being sold as for the sale of French policies?

Hi Peter, I’m in the same boat and confused.
I want to use my ISA money to buy another place in Spain eventually, so doubly complicated. Also I was thinking of moving it to a different ISA fund but can’t find out if this is allowed within the French tax system without penalty.
I have a feeling that I’m going to be worried about this for a long time to come.
Best of luck with your situation, I hope it works out for you.

Art, For sure if you have UK ISAs and you are no longer a UK tax resident, you cannot cash them in without being heavily taxed in France or Spain or wherever you are tax resident now.
For anybody considering terminating their UK tax residency, I suggest selling ISAs before changing your residency, from the day you are no longer a UK tax resident, all your tax free advantages are lost. I wasn’t aware of this and didn’t sell them, an expensive mistake.
What I want to know is if there are ways to reduce the tax bill. I understand now that in France there are advantages offered by the ‘barème progressif’ for people who have low-ish incomes and / or have held the policies for some time. I still have uncertainty whether there are other ways to reduce the impact. For example, is it possible to calculate the capital gain starting from the date you became a French tax resident and not the date that the policies were bought in the UK? Or any other ways to reduce the impact??

Hi Peter, the only solution that I have come up with is becoming a UK tax payer for a year and cashing the policy in then. I woud then go to Spain to buy a property and spend only 5 months a year in France and 7 in Spain; becoming a Spanish tax payer. Complicated but doable I think.

My understanding is the value of them when you arrived in France is the value for CSG etc

Chris, if that’s so, that that can make a big difference if the policies are held already for several years before becoming a French resident. So it is necessary to contact the company and ask the product value on the date that I became a French resident?

Does this web site not explain what information you are looking for?