Paying tax on a pension lump sum

I know this is a bit of a niche area but I wondered if anyone had any relevant experience or advice. We plan to move to France in August next year and, to coincide with that, I will take my deferred occupational pension which includes a lump sum as well as a monthly amount.

From what I have read, whilst this lump sum would be paid tax free in the UK, since 2011 lump sums paid on retirement to expats living in France have been liable to French income tax. Setting aside the potential impact of Brexit on our plans, we are unlikely to be resident in France at the time I take my pension and receive my lump sum though we may well have bought a French property by then.

My question is will I have to declare this lump sum in any French tax return I make following our move to France? We are planning on using the micro-entrepreneur tax status for our B&B/Gite business though are not likely to start trading until well into 2021.


No, you don’t have to declare income before you became resident. So makes sure the lump sum arrives in your UK account before you arrive in France.

Gideon… in my opinion - it would be so much easier if the lump-sum hits your bank “before” you move over here. :thinking:

Once you are here and intending to stay - whatever monies come your way will need to be declared here in France (worldwide income).

The French Tax Year runs from January 1st to December 31st and Declarations are made in retrospect around May (for the previous year, or part-year).

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Thanks Stella. My concern was that, even if the money is in my account before we move, I would need to declare it if I made a tax return in France in May 2021 for 2020.

However, from what you are saying, it seems I would only need to do so for the part of 2020 I was actually resident in France.

That’s right ! simply make sure you arrive permanently AFTER the payment is received.

I’m sure you can do a few hither and thither trips, before announcing to the Mairie et al that you are here permanently.

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