Taxation years confuse me

Hello I am sure many of you had to sort this issue so help would be kind! I was employed in UK until Nov 20 2019. I then came to France where I own a property in Gard. I receive a local government pension of £12,500 and am 62 in a few months with no prospect of state pension (now the WASPI issue is quiet post election campaigns) for a few years yet. I am hoping to stay here now.
I am sure I am considered UK tax resident for 2019 -20. However with French taxation year starting January 2020 when might I expect to be subject to French taxation? I still have land and a barn with pp for residential use in UK and family in UK.
Can anyone point me in the right direction to be clear as to my responsibilities / liabilities?
thank you all; excellent site!

You can get split year treatment, so basically pay tax related to where you actually were.

It may have changed, but I’m sure others will correct me if I’m wrong, but what we did was to tell HMRC that we’d left and do a self assessment up to that date. Then pay tax in France from that date.

Here’s the HMRC guidance

And on split years

French tax as you say is January to December, and you will complete your first tax return in May 2021. And that will be on all your worldwide income except your pension if it is the right sort of local government pension which will continue to be taxed in the UK, and any rental income on property in the UK.

The French tax authorities are unlikely to be interested in you until next year, but you could go visit your tax office (they are usually nice as long as you don’t go when they are inundated with tax return queries in April/May/June) and double check with them.

Except, if you moved at end November then in theory you should do a French tax return in May this year for the month of December…

(I would be hugely tempted to fudge the date and “move” at the end of December! But I think that is very naughty)


Hi Claire and welcome…

As Jane says… in May 2021 you will be making your first French Declaration of “total worldwide income” (every single £/€) received from wherever… for the year Jan-Dec 2020.

You will need to do this in person (armed with a dictionary perhaps) at your local Tax Office and the staff will help you put all the figures in the correct boxes so that all the offsets are correctly calculated. Folk may worry about double taxation but, actually, France offsets tax already paid in UK against what they would demand. However, they do insist on knowing all your financial secrets… :roll_eyes: :upside_down_face:

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Is it very naughty? An inactif person comes to France in late November. It’s much easier from the French authorities if they use the 1st January as their arrival date and treat the previous six weeks as a legitimate holiday. Previous neighbours of ours were in exactly that position and the official advice was to do just that. From the UK point of view it’s as easy to have a leaving date of 31st December as 20th November.
The one advantage of using the November date is that by doing a tax return for those six weeks in 2020 you will have an extra bit of paper to add to your CdS application.

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Claire, I think you need to make a decision about whether or not you are going to stay… :thinking: :upside_down_face:

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Yes you do your return in paper int he first year, but in due course you will be able to download the 2020 forms and guidance so you can work it out at home if you wish. That will help you make sure you have the right information to hand if you want to get the tax office to take you through it.

Here is a link to 2019

and, of course, having been officially identified and taken through your first Declaration procedure by the Tax Folk (who are really helpful)… should you wish to continue with the paper declaration in future years that will be OK.

Our local Tax Office have assured us that some folk are continuing with paper declaration rather than completing the on-line… and I think I shall be joining them this year… :upside_down_face: (having made a pig’s ear of last year’s Declaration on-line)

Nope, that’s not true. Unless there is an actual physical reason why you can’t declare online, ( think no connection whatsoever, no arms to operate keyboard etc :slight_smile: ) everyone is being moved online.

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I am only repeating what I was told… as there have been many folk (of all nationalities including French) who have difficulty with the online declaration…

However, I shall be checking with them again, since you raise the query… :thinking: :upside_down_face:

La déclaration en ligne est désormais obligatoire pour tous les déclarants. Cependant, le fisc prévoit peuvent encore remplir une déclaration de revenus papier les contribuables suivants :

  • Ceux dont la résidence principale n’est pas équipée d’un accès à Internet
  • Ceux qui vivent dans une zone où aucun service mobile n’est disponible (zone " blanche"), dispensés de l’obligation de télédéclarer leurs revenus jusqu’en 2024
  • Ceux qui ne savent pas se servir d’Internet même s’ils disposent d’une connexion dans leur résidence principale
  • Ceux qui remplissent une déclaration de revenus pour la première fois cette année et qui n’ont pas reçu de courrier de l’administration fiscale contenant leurs identifiants afin d’effectuer leur déclaration d’impôts en ligne.

Le simple fait d’envoyer leur déclaration papier vaut engagement sur l’honneur de pas être en capacité de le faire en ligne. La date limite de dépôt pour la déclaration de revenus 2020 est fixée au jeudi 14 mai .


Unless all the elderly folk who were exempted last year - have subsequently died… they will still be making allowances for them to use paper this year … and I definitely fall into the category of alive-elderly. :crazy_face: :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

However, as I have said… I will double-check with my local Tax folk…

Yes, I think what has changed is having to provide an ‘attestation’ and I can’t imagine that having done one online previously you would now qualify for exemption - or rather, that you’d be happy to sign an attestation basically saying, ‘yes. I am a cyber muppet’ !!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Ha ha… Catharine…I am certainly not a cyber expert… but I would not have described myself as a muppet exactly, until last year… :roll_eyes: Having got just one bit wrong… the whole declaration went berserk… and I made it worse each time I tried to make a correction… :crazy_face:

My local Tax lady was very kind and helped me with the necessary amendments (face to face) and it was she who spoke about being able to use paper instead…

As I say, I will speak with her again and double check the situation… I have no problem with admitting that I cannot do something … there is no shame attached.

The OP says she is 62, which doesn’t count as elderly in my book! I think she’d better get used to doing them online…

(Cyber-muppet…lovely imagine in my head of the muppet Animal freaking out over a keyboard)

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Thankfully there is allowance for discretion to be used, when folk ask to continue with Paper…

It’s not always age… it is not that simple…not everyone has the same skills/gifts/abilities… :thinking:

so very true!

thank you everyone that is very clear and helpful :smiley:

That is pretty much how I see myself!

Hi Claire,

I’m a retired academic, not a tax expert and the following advice is simply based on personal experience of having three pensions, only two of which are eligble to be taxed in France

If your UK pension is classed as a government one (you can check this by phoning HMRC overseas section) then it will continue to be taxed at source in the UK, even if you live in France. You’d include a UK tax return and a copy of the P45 with your French tax return.

Furthermore, your pension will be very close to the UK minimum tax threshold, so although you’d still need to make a French tax declaration, if that was your sole source of income, you might not need to pay any income tax here.

By contrast, if you retired early and began to receive a reduced UK state pension, that would be eligible to be taxed here.

Lastly, I find The Connexion’s annual French Tax Guide invaluable when completing my tax return. You can check it out at:-

This is the HMRC list of pensions that are considered governmental and taxed in UK

(And I think you meant P60 not P45)