Taxation and Health


In 5 weeks time we move to the Charente Maritime and despite reading a large amount of material it still isn't clear to us what happens in relation to our circumstances in regards to taxation and health matters. Any help you can give would be really appreciated based on your own experiences.

Our circumstances in brief, are as follows;

We have always wished to move to France after retiring from the police service in the UK (which for me is in 3 years time) but once our children arrived we thought this dream was never likely to happen. However, we decided otherwise and in order to ensure our children get into the French education system as soon as possible and prior to our eldest (now 8 years) moving up to college we have bought a property and sign the acte de vente in a few weeks time.

I will remain working and living in the UK for the next three years until I retire, returning home to France for a week approximately every six weeks (work permitting). It would be financial suicide for me to resign prior to the end of my career in terms of pension etc.

My wife Cara will be living in France full time with our children and will not be working for the first few years in order to spend time with our boys. She will be resigning from her position in the police to do this.

With such circumstances questions of taxation and access to welfare benefits, including health service cover are therefore raised. We do not wish to fall foul of any system and wish to "pay our way" but I seem to find conflicting advice as to where we are tax residents and what welfare and health service benefits Cara and the children will be entitled too.

Any help based on personal circumstances will be gratefully received.

Thanking you in anticipation,

Best wishes,


the MSA isn't a club you can just join - you have to be working in agriculture/agriculture related and cotise just like all the other caisse RSI, CIPAV etc. (CPAM being the exception to the rule) Brian would have to set himself up as an eleveur - loads of hassle and cost for very little gain ;-)

Hi John

Look here

that leads to this form

Application that covers a dependant/s living in another country

Looks like one you might need

The date for the signing of the acte de vente arrived today. 23rd July!

Don't panic Mr. Mainwairing!!!!

Dear All,

Just managing to start to look for the many replies which are gratefully received so thank you.

To clarify, Cara will not be working. She is resigning from the police so will not receive her police pension until she is 60. She will be living in France full time with our boys (3, 7 and 8). I will be home in France for approximately 120 days per year in total taking into account my rest days and leave.

I'm now going to go through all your posts. As Captain Oakes said ...."I may be sometime!" :-)

Trevor. We have a "Useful Links" section for stuff like this. Terry Williams looks after it so he's your man. By the way, don't assume members read ALL posts & understand what's going on as this place ducks & dives all over the shop & takes some keeping up with at times. Takes a bit of getting used to but when you do , to quote Arthur Daly " The worlds yer Lobster"

Hi Vic

As you pointed out I should have said that the EHIC is available (via form EHICE ) for people living within the EEC on a UK old age pension and for people receiving certain UK benefits, but I didn't as this post was about early retirees and therefore not relevant to this post.

I think it would be helpful if, due to the many changes ( someone with a little more time than myself ) write up the changes for all to read.

Any volunteers ? :-)

You do if you are in receipt of a GB State Pension.

The EHIC is for the tourists

I.E. those who are NOT yet registered as living in France.

As a rough guide your EH1C paid 70% and you pay the remaining 30%. Now as of July you can no longer claim any refund.

If you are resident in France you would NOT have a British EHIC

Glad to be of service Debra;)

But can you claim it from CPAM while you are in France as you can now?

You are a public servant/employee in UK and receive your income from UK therefore you pay your taxes in UK as normal especially as you'll still be a resident in UK for at least 6 months of the year until you retire. Your wife, although resident in France, will receive her "early retirement police pension" from the UK therefore she must also pay her taxes in UK as normal. However you have to also complete a French tax form for "etrangers" , for both of you, which basically declares your UK income and taxes, and is simply a formality as UK and FRance have a reciprocal tax agreement for government pensions. The situation is different if you have a private pension. When you are retired and living in France full time you'll still pay your income tax in UK and declare it on the French forms.

Healthcare is complicated but I believe as early retirees you will have to get private healthcover to pay for your health care until you are retired at which point you may only need a top-up insurance.

I am not an expert just a retired, ex-UK govt employee, so above are my personal views

The EHIC is also changing.

As of July you will no longer be able to claim a refund for the 30% on return to England.

Residency: your wife and children will need to declare residency here in France. You have to do this by law if you are living in France for more than 6 months per year. You go to your Mairie and fill in a form. This will also enable her to complete forms to have a vote in local and European elections.

Tax: your wife will need to go to your nearest tax office before May next year and declare for tax, even if she receives nothing by way of income. She will also fill in a form to say that she pays income tax on anything she receives in UK. She then pays nothing here. Filling in these forms also ensures that your home is not taxed as a second home but as her primary residence.

Despite what you may read on this and other sites I have found the civil servants very helpful. I always go and apologise for the poor quality of my French and do my best to explain what I need to do in French. Smile a lot, gesticulate a lot but never raise your voice other than in laughter.

Best of luck!

Hi Debra, I agree with all you have said as we did it for 11 yrs..except the workers S1 was then known as an E106. Once John has all the paperwork from Newcastle it will be quite straightforward for his wife. Our situation now is that hubby took early retirement (2yrs early) and was covered by a retirees S1 for the first 18 months only, they then stopped cover. He will receive his state pension in September and will then be covered again, so we are in the same situation as Brian at the moment in the fact that he isn, t covered for the moment.

The S1 for non retirees will end 1st July this year. Along with changes to the EHIC (no more refunds)

Thanks Brian for that. Am going to start another discussion so that I can share this. Cx

Don't forget that the S1 ends in July this year


Welcome to the group, I am also a retired Police officer living in France so may be able to assist you in some areas. Please feel free to contact me by email if you would like and I will share what I know. Regards Chris (

Hi John,

I have no personal experience of working in UK and living in France, but some friends in our village are both officers in the MET and they fly back to Gatwick, do their shifts and fly back to SW France. Their daughter was born in France and has attended local school as son as she could. They are fully integrated into French healthcare and will have all the answers to your questions. If you send me a message to (so I have your e-mail address) I will forward it on and hope they can assist.

Regards Colin