Some advice - earning income from shares


My wife and I came over to France back to our house here in November last year. We got advice about earnings and entrepreneur, we paid for this to be setup and we have a siret and almost a carte vitale.

We spoke to a tax adviser and now have concerns.

My wife and I have a private share portfolio which we manage and we were advised that we would submit our income through the siret/tax, but it seems that this is wrong way to do things. We are happy to pay the social and tax. We don’t employ anyone or have any clients, we spend 5 days a week working on the shares to create an income.

We didn’t just jump in, we got previous advice from 2 sources.

We are under code 6619B.

Any help please.

I really don’t know, but my gut reaction is that you perhaps need to talk directly to your tax office about this. Your situation sounds odd and a bit of a circle that doesn’t quite add up (which I guess you know or you wouldn’t be asking the question!). The important people in this are the tax officers, so ask them?

I presume you did make a tax return for the 2019 tax year, so you have a tax number? So the tax office will “know” who you are.

My understanding is that to be an auto-entrepreneur you need to have more than one client. And if you only have one client then you are an employee of that client…so yes you could set up a business which has you as employees and pays you a salary, but that’s not something that would work for you? Are you paying into a caisse for your social cover and pension? How is your health care organised?

And your code is basically for brokers, but since you only work with your own money on your own account you are not a broker? So yes with this code you can be an auto-entrepreneur, but you need clients.

I don’t know what the french equivalent for someone who lives on unearned income is, but that to me seems to be what you are. So it seems to me that you would declare income and capital gain/losses as private individuals in exactly the same way I declare my (modest) income from shares. And pay income tax on it, and then social charges in the same way. For your health care you would then pay cotisations to URSAFF, and you wouldn’t be building up any sort of entitlement to a french pension. And then the issue is to make sure that your income is sufficient to qualify for residency…

Oh dear, not very helpful…but I think you are right to question the advice you were given


Thank you Jane for your time on this. Yes, it’s a tricky one.

We took advice from a lady who worked in the French Tax office before we came to France, and she seemed to think it was ok, so not jumping in blind. We have contacted her again as this does need clearing up.

I noticed you mentioned that you earn some income from shares. I am aware that you have to declare this on the tax return, pay social and tax on the profit, but we were advised by a local tax expert that even though we pay social, we would not be entitled to a Carte Vitale, which sounds odd.

We were just shocked that the advice was that everything we had done was unravelling and that we needed to do something a bit dodgy and create fake clients, which is not something that sits well with us at all.

At the moment we are well in excess of the earnings threshold and have a SIPP which we manage as well, so I think those things are covered, it’s just the fear that the Carte Vitale would be cancelled that concerned us.

Hopefully we will get there, we just want to be able to relax, focus on the earnings and enjoy this lovely country.


Paying social charges is not what gives you access to the French health service, they are used to pay benefits to people in need. Your access to the health service is through your cotisations to a caisse (if you are working), directly to URSAFF if inactif, or because of your S1 if you receive a UK state pension. And the PUMA (health) system is accessible to anyone who is a resident in France, it is just that there are essentially different ways of paying for it. If you live here you can be part of the health service, so they won’t take your CV away.

We pay social charges on our income despite the fact that we will never be entitled to any benefits from it! (But we don’t pay them on our UK government pension).

If I extrapolate your situation to ours when we arrived here as inactifs, then our right to get a carte vitale was based on stable residence and having an income above the threshold. How that income was earned was not a question. So if you have an adequate unearned income from your investments then what’s the problem?

Tax officers generally know about tax, but don’t know about immigration requirements of access to healthcare so may well be steering you in an odd direction.

I really don’t know how you would get a definitive answer if you have already spoken to tax people. But it just seems odd to me to go to all the fuss of setting up a business when you could just be classed as inactifs who have a healthy unearned income, and pay your taxes & social charges on that income, plus your cotisation to URSAFF for health.

How is your healthcare funded at the moment?

(Edit: it just occurred to me that you may have been advised to set up as an AE so that you pay cotisations and therefore get entitlement to healthcare that way. And that’s why you were told you lose your CV if you stop your business. But you can get access to healthcare in other ways, France wants everyone to be part of the healthservice)

Yes, I agree with you Jane.


Ian, if you are dealing on your own account you’re not a business. I’ve investment income from France and abroad and I just declare the capital gain/loss every year and pay the appropriate tax and social charges. I also claim French allowances for income that is taxed abroad. It’s quite simple. It’s maybe accessing a CV that’s your issue, which by paying the appropriate cotisation in France you can do. Or, if you are in receipt of an other member state pension you can get for free with an S1. A hundred quid with a knowledge French accountant will sort this out for you.

Hi John,
Thank you for this. I think the issue is, and after some discussions with an solicitor, it seems a little bit of a grey area and even he is having to ask if I am a professional share trader as I trade full time on this.
I agree that becoming inactif will probably be the end solution, but we are only going down the route suggested by the adviser.
One question is, if inactif, does this affect the income level assessed with the Carte de Sejour, this is our concern.
Also, would you be able to private message me if you use an accountant, preferably English speaking. Not wanting to clog up this forum.
I appreciate that we need to start paying the tax/social/health payments, so want to start contributing.

If you are under 65 with no children it is 848€ a month, all info you need is here

Thanks Jane, very helpful.