Tax on Interest earned in Australia


I posted this on a members page also however if anyone else can help that would be great:

My husband and I are currently living in Australia but are planning to move to France. We would prefer to leave our money in Australia as you get more in interest and this would help finance our living expenses in France. I know that the ATO takes 10% government withholding tax and that is it - do you know how much the French Government take if any on top of this? I have sent the French Tax department an e-mail but they advised that we should query it when we get there which does not really help us when we are trying to budget how much money we will actually need and if they tax the interest we have earned also this will obviously affect the bottom line. Any advice you can provide would be great. Cheers Jo

PS for those who do not know - France and Australia have a tax treaty to avoid double taxation however some posts I have read, etc seem to suggest that they may take some tax off on top of the Australian tax.


Wow - thanks Peter - will check these out - this seems to be what we need to at least see where we are at before we move :)

Jo - If you are budgeting, this link, including all its follow-up pages will give you a good overview of the various taxes you'll encounter. The official tax department calculator is good, but is in French & uses technical terms you might find difficult. Stay with the simple model & fit all your worldwide income somewhere & it will definitely be better than waiting until you've arrived. Income tax is a relatively small part of the French government's total take, certainly when compared with Oz. Their biggest earners are VAT, generally 20%, and the so-called 'social charges'. Something that isn't often mentioned, should you be buying a property, is that, under the guise of Frais Notaires (Lawyers Fees), you can expect to pay over 10% of the property price as a hidden tax, most of which goes to local government. (This why the French have a rate of property turnover which is among the lowest in the world. I've read that the average occupancy of an owned house is around 35 years!)

As for the double taxation treaty, these usually mean that you can deduct anything paid to the ATO as Withholding Tax from your French income tax bill, but that the Australian interest has to be declared in France & French tax is charged on it. This is why it's important to try and calculate your overall tax rate. (The net effect of these treaties is usually that, in total, you pay the amount charged by the country which has the higher tax rate for that type of income.)

On top of the above, take a look at these information sheets. You can download many of them & they're not expensive. You may find the Moving to France one is a good place to start.

Hope to welcome you here before too long.

Ha ha Steve - I try my best with French and am studying it as much as I can - I think once we are there we will pick up a lot more. I am hooked on Duolingo at the moment which is great for learning. I use Google Translate a lot especially when I don't want to risk being misinterpreted - typed our whole compris into it when we bought our house - what a mission!!

Sandra is right with the taxes but I had a success with the Tax people there recently (long and complicated story involving them mailing my bill to Angola which doesnt have a postal system so I never got them).

My French and Portuguese are close to non existent so I use Google translate a lot at work. There is now an offline version available for free for Android tablets/phones. You just download the language(s) you want then type (or in theory hand write or speak) the English, hit the button and voila (like the way I threw that French word in !) - a pretty reasonable translation. Well and truly worth the price of the tablet/phone just till you get on your feet with the language. Make sure it is Google translate, download it then in settings pick the dictionaries you want to download. Its surprisingly good

Hi Sandra

Our house is in Dordogne Perigord Noir near Belves. What made you relocate from the Dordogne and where were you living there? I know there is so much to get our heads around - not as simple as just picking up and going as we thought but we will get there in the end :)

G'day Jo

There are quite a few of us lurking around the place - more than some people realise! I am from Perth and have been here for nearly six years firstly in Dordogne (24) and now in Charente (16). I have only just moved to the area but have discovered half a dozen others quite close by. Where in France are you moving to? One thing that you will learn very quickly is the you never put the word help and French tax office (or any French government department) into the same sentence, unless of course it is in the negative as you have already done. Tax, the health system, setting up home, the bureaucratic adventure begins...good luck with the move!

:-) Where's the friggin like button?

Speaking purely for myself as not just an Aussie but from Wagga Wagga, a combination of my reading skills (or lack thereof) and atrocious short term memory means I probably read everything at least 3 times, thereby skewing the stats :-)


What a load of old cobbers! ;-)

That's why! We are excited by the prospect of their contribution to the cultural mix.

Just had one of those "wHAT?" moments. If there are not many Australians here, how come this thread tops the "Most read today list"?

Not sure Mike. Our battle & victory happened the tax return before last so the old memory is a bit dim. Worth looking it up though if anyone is in the position we were. I could probably find the relevant rule if required but assure you that it applied to us. Following our battle the head dragon invited my wife to her office where she personally apologised , checked our return & promised full personal co-operation in the future. It must be correct to get that sort of treatment:-)

Hi Vic.

That one had passed me by, but since it is your experience, must be true.

Does that mean it would also apply in Australia, or is it only a deal with the UK - one of Thatcher's handbag-wielding concessions, perhaps?

Not strictly true Mike. UK rental income is taxed in the UK & not here but does attract social charges here. We had a right ding dong with the French tax dragons over this but they were finally slain. It's good for us as we can offset British tax allowances against it:-) No arguments with your last statement though!

If you become resident in France, anything you earn anywhere in the World, is taxable in France, regardless of whether tax has already been deducted elsewhere. Your tax bill in France will depend on many factors and it is not surprising that the French Tax Authority are unwilling to calculate that in advance.

But don't let that put you off, France is a wonderful country!

I have been away a long ti

Steve - don't be sorry - invite those ex-Aussies onto SFN!

This is going to seem like an odd reply (so apologies to all).

Whilst SFN is my favourite advice site, there arent that many Aussies on here (and some -like me- are out of touch), but it would be worth joining the Australian and New Zealanders group here if you havent had a chance yet.

However there are a couple of ex-Australians on another site - France Expat Forum- who seem to have a lot of expertise in this area - Sorry Catharine and James