French tax return

Whether its UK tax or French tax, it always makes me stressed! I have taken the advice of a friend and enlisted the help of a bilingual accounting firm in Bordeaux, and am currently busy compiling a large envelope of information for them. However, one question I always struggle with is the interest rate from UK to France. Does anyone know what is the standard agreed rate of exchange from Sterling to Euro for the tax year 2013? I have always spent ages on the Banque de France website calculating individual rates for the exact dates of transfers, but I am told I need not do that and can take the agreed annual exchange rate. Where can I find this please.......anyone??

Shirley, there should be a section on the tax return form that says something like "if you have changed your address since Jan 1, 2013, please write your new address here." I imagine, but I don't know this for a fact, that you then send/take it to your local tax office. Suggest if the tax office is not too far away you go and see them and ask them what you should do. Or phone them.

Not much help for the current year, but my husband calculates the exchange reate on every incoming credit from the UK. He has it set up on a spreadsheet and one year it reduced our tax liability by €300. Not much effort for a return and why pay the taxman French or UK more that you have to.

HMRC publish a table of rates and I've always used their year to 31 December average without any query from my tax office. The link is


Having just spent the last several days figuring our income & expenses in France [rental properties] to keep the dreaded IRS {US] happy [I hope], I use the historical tables from and spread sheet. Generally keeps my US & French accountants happy [yes we have both]. Probably a lot more complex than most since all data have to be entered into Quickbooks - hence detail. Always a challenge!!!

Thanks Tim, since we get money from all over (next month from Cambodia in US$ for instance) we look at the time we receive it and note the exchange rate we get from the bank when it goes in then.

Now that answer, we like :-)

as an accountant practicing (nearly good now!!) in the Lot for 10 years I would suggest that you use, for income purposes, the average rate published by the Finance Ministry which, as one reader has already said is 1.1775€ to the £. For the other readers the rate for Wealth tax is that applicable at 1 January each year as that is the date at which your assets are valued.

For the UK income that is remitted to France (as opposed to that which is left in the UK) then you may use the exchange rate applicable at the date of transfer if it is to your advantage.

Good Luck


Yes, but remember the European Commission did not only sharply wag its finger at the UK because of bankers' bonuses but also had critical words about fiscal regimes generally. If, as the long term aim is to 'standardise' them all within a European framework, of which France is one of the inner circle advocating it, the country has already had enough complaints to the Commission about taxes to have to totally abolish the system if an EU one comes in. We looked into the fact that social payments and taxes are assessed and paid against turnover, which sometimes means that fares and expenses paid out of our pockets that are reimbursed, therefore become part of our 'income', sometimes at least a third of the whole sum paid to us. It means we are made to pay on our own money, which we find totally off the wall. The Commission has already be critical of that in 2008, any serious complaints made and censure of France and then all other discrepancies and injustices will be dragged to the fore, so there is room for manoeuvre if people go for it.

Tax dodgers wherever deserve to get caught and done for it. Problem there is that most of the so-called tax havens are those that do not join treaties...

Whilst the exchange rate is of course very valid for anybody with wealth tax assessable assets in the UK, especially London, one needs to think about the considerable recent apppreciation in London property prices which could bring quite a bonus to the French ISF tax coffers. There are things that can be done to reduce the implications.

bit of shock coming then, as there are exchange of info treaties signed or tax regimes on the way.

Yes, but one must provide exact details of the payment in in whichever currency, rate of exchange and what goes into an account here for every transaction. It makes life incredibly difficult and with fluctuations in exchange rates we can ask for an assessment that is balanced out against fluctuations. We have done it for four years without any problem, although it is a matter of asking and having justification such as work we both do being all outside of France (OK, OH also does the part-time selling houses, but that is here and easy). Yes, they base everything on the end of the year rates unless a demand is made for a representative conversion. Apart from that, has anybody worked out why the French wealthy keep money in Monaco, Switzerland, Andorra and so on - as if they declare any of it either!


The rate for exchange is set at end of December each year by tax authorities, particularly when assessing one's applicable worldwide assets for wealth tax purposes. The accountants should have reference to it. It may be they are prepared to look at a different rate for income tax assessment, but it is certainly set for wealth tax. Remember non french assets do not count to wealth tax for UK nationals for 5 years following your year of arrival.

I'm the opposite. All of my income is in Sterling so we have to know how to appease the Tax Dragons without getting singed.:-)

On Monday everything went berserk because of the Ukraine 'crisis' and the £-€ exchange rate was down to 1:1.21 at one stage. The FSE running graph went down like a deep sea dive at 0600 that morning, Wall Street warned of a run on exchange, but by 0900 it had settled again. Roughly about the same time Vlad Putin announced there would be no war, the rouble was in big trouble may well have been behind that.

What collapse? It can't have collapsed. I haven't changed any Sterling to Euros recently. The rate seems to be as near as dammit the same as it was since the beginning of March & then it was only a little down on the last few weeks. Don't worry though Brian. It'll drop soon as I'm in need of a Euro transfusion;-)

With the 'collapse' over the last few days the rate is now under 1.3 to 1. I was told that it is et at the rate within roughly a month of the point in time you have to pay at. That way they stay out of the European Court for fiscal irregularities.

Thanks so much everyone. I appreciate your help.

I'm sure an average rate is issued at some point but can't remember for the life of me who by and where you find it (really helpful I know!). Trouble is I've only had revenue in euros for the last few years so no need to remember where to find the average rate!

We use the average rate system which has always been accepted by the Tax Dragons. The December rate was above the average rate so you would pay more tax using this.