so I know you never used an accountant. It’s true I don’t know the extent to which you discussed the situation with the French tax office but I do know they are generally helpful in that if anyone asks for a French tax form, they’ll ask if you live permanently in France and if you say you do, they’ll give you the forms. It’s not their job to quizz everyone on their affairs, they usually answer the questions they’re asked and nothing more, and the people at the counter generally aren’t trained in international tax.
When I first moved here I did work for a UK company (my own, but the rules are essentially the same), and I applied for and was issued with a portable health document because I was told that was the correct thing to do.
That’s true and I accept there there are exceptional circumstances that I don’t know, which obviously you don’t have to disclose on a public forum. But if that’s the case I certainly think you should have added a caveat to flag up that your situation is unusual and the route you followed would not be acceptable in normal cases. I’m afraid I have a bit of a thing about misleading advice on forums, it’s dangerous because people are liable to believe what they read on these forums, especially if it’s what they want to hear. If you re-read your post you’ll probably see how it can give the impression that there are no rules as such, everyone can pick and choose where they pay their taxes and which social security system, if any, they contribute to, and international tax is as easy as falling off a log with no pitfalls for the unwary. That’s not the case, there are rules for each set of circumstances and basically everybody has to find out exactly which rules apply to them. Failing to comply with national tax laws, international tax treaties, EU social security conventions and national social security legislation, can have very serious consequences. Having found out the rules, some people will be very careful to keep them and some people will decide to break them and take their chances, that’s their choice, but the important thing is that they know the rules in the first place and take calculated risks rather than go breaking all the rules out of blissful ignorance, like lambs to the slaughter because the taxman won’t see ignorance as an excuse.
So I apologise if I offended, and apologies for ranting on, but I hope you can see the problem.