Planning ahead and taking advice early can help you get your finances in order when you move to France. International tax and wealth management advisors, Blevins Franks examine 7 key financial considerations for UK nationals relocating to France ADVERTORIAL FEATURE
Are you planning to move to France? What a good choice, it offers a very enjoyable and beneficial lifestyle. Here is an overview of the key financial considerations for UK nationals relocating to France. Taking advice early prevents many mistakes, including paying more tax than necessary.
1.Tax residency and obligations
You need to establish what makes you resident in France for tax purposes. If you meet any of the residency criteria you are liable for French tax on your worldwide income, gains, wealth and estate. You also need to follow the UK tax residence rules so you do not inadvertently make yourself UK tax resident.
2. Structuring your assets to minimise tax
Taxes in France can be high. Besides income tax you have to pay social charges on income, plus possibly an annual wealth tax. However you can structure your assets to be tax efficient and, with careful planning, could pay less tax in France than in the UK. Do not presume that what was tax efficient in the UK is tax efficient in France.
3. Your home
If you own property in the UK and/or in France, which do you sell, when and why? What is the best plan to limit or avoid UK or French capital gains tax? Appropriate, timely advice, will avoid the common pitfalls.
Keeping savings and investments in Sterling puts income at the mercy of exchange rate fluctuations. A sensible rule of thumb is to match your assets to your liabilities. However, if you may return to the UK it is often wise to have diversification in your assets, including currencies.
There are usually ways to improve your private pension arrangements to make them work better when living in France. It is vital that you receive specialist advice before you take any decisions. There are various options for your UK pension funds, and each has different implications for your long-term income and tax payable.
Your investment strategy should be specifically designed around your circumstances and objectives. Having moved to a new country, you now need to review your strategy to see how it needs to be adjusted.
7. Estate planning
This is particularly important for France, where succession law and tax work very differently from the UK and are complicated. Getting it wrong can have serious consequences for your beneficiaries. You need to understand how it all affects your estate and your options.
Taking advice from a professional wealth management specialist is the only way you can be sure that you have not overlooked anything, and that you have established all your options and how suitable they are for you.
Blevins Franks are the leading international tax and wealth management advisers to British nationals living in Europe. Blevins Franks takes a holistic approach to tax planning, succession issues, investments, pensions and asset protection. We have decades of experience advising British expatriates and in-depth knowledge of French and UK taxation.
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Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; an individual should take personalised advice.