If you are an expatriate living in France there are a number of things to consider.

Top of the list should be whether or not your finances are in order. France is generally regarded as a high taxation country, however with the right planning and use of tax efficient Financial Products, this does not have to be the case.

France, along with a lot of Europe is going through austerity plans that are giving rise to additional taxes or increased taxes. However by utilising French tax compliant solutions much of your savings and wealth can be protected and legitimately structured to pay the least amount of tax possible.

Things to consider are:

What happens to my savings/assets on death?

For residents of France, French Succession law applies to your worldwide assets and unlike UK inheritance tax, it also applies when assets are passed to your spouse. This also applies to lifetime gifts. Napoleonic Law still applies in France, where the children take precedence over the surviving spouse, however there are solutions to overcome this.

Are my current savings and investments tax efficient?

Many expats moving to France often hold PEP's, ISA’s, Premium Bonds etc. However whilst these are excellent products for a resident of the UK, they are not recognised under French Law and therefore are not a tax efficient savings or investment solution and are liable to tax in France at the highest rate. Better French compliant solutions such as Assurance Vie are available through well-known International organisations that will save tax, and should you require, mirror your existing investment selection, plus offering high degrees of security.

In addition if you are holding an offshore bank account in an offshore centre such as the Isle of Man or Jersey, a tax charge of up to 39% could apply on the interest received under the account.

Is the UK the best home for my pension now I'm resident in France?

For many their pension is the largest asset after their home, therefore careful thought should be given to ensuring the tax efficiency and safety of your pension fund.  What's more pension income can be taxed in the UK even if you are resident in France. This may mean paying tax at a higher rate in the UK than you would in France. In France the P.C.L.S or tax free lump is now taxable.

Professional, regulated advice should be sought in all circumstances.

Contact us today on +34 951 127 085   for a FREE initial consultation. Many of our clients prefer to deal with us over the phone and email, or if you prefer we can arrange for one of our local advisers to make contact. We have advisers covering all regions of France.

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