Success with pension lump sum

I got a fair bit of help here when I decided to take my entire UK personal pension as a lump sum. So I thought I’d report how things worked. It took a long time, but it’s all done now (bar actually paying the French tax).

  • I got my pension in April last year, minus £62,000 in UK tax.
  • I got the UK tax paid back to me in November.
  • I just got my French tax bill which comes in at about £15k on the pension.

I’m now looking at investing in rental property to give myself a reasonable income. A little money goes a long way in some French cities.

So the system does work quite nicely. No questions asked by the French tax authorities whatsoever, even though I am continuing to work.

@Andrea_Kirkby did you get the tax back via the R43 form only or did you have to complete any other documents?

Not R43, but SI 2009 Number 226 - French double taxation form - was the route my UK tax adviser suggested. The only minor difficulty was getting the stamp from the French tax office - and that just took a visit and a couple of hours in total; as so often, getting through reception was tricky, but once I found the right expert, it took a few minutes to get the papers scanned into the system, printed and stamped.

I sent the stamped form off to HMRC and things took their course.

Thanks Andrea, I was advised by HMRC to complete a R43 only which is clearly wrong.

Oh, that’s interesting. Of course things may have changed in the interim. It might also depend on when you became non-resident. The double taxation form asks for details of residency and time spent in each country over the past three complete UK tax years.