Understanding the full ramifications of Brexit is likely to be impossible for some time to come. Many people need guidance on their tax situation and also expat pension advice. The British in France can attend meetings and receive valuable guidance from the Embassy regarding a whole host of post-Brexit concerns.
A series of meetings have already been held across multiple locations in France, including Agen, Civray, Montpellier and Marseille, with more to come throughout 2020.
Anyone interested in attending an outreach meeting or indeed in having their own questions answered can find information about scheduled events here. Alternatively, if you wish to suggest a town or place that would be suitable for further citizens’ outreach meetings, you can email France.Enquiries@fco.gov.uk.
What do expats in France want to know?
Previous events have highlighted concerns covering a range of issues that include healthcare, inheritance tax and retirement planning. Many people are understandably keen to receive up-to-date expat pension advice.
The most recent Q & A event held online in February via Facebook covered various subjects including the following:
I applied for a Carte de Sejour in 2019. In light of Brexit do I need to reapply?
The British Embassy advised that those in this situation need to make “a fresh application” for a new residence permit. It should be possible to do this online via a new residency portal from July this year. Anyone requiring further details should stay informed via the Living in France page on the GOV.UK website.
What is the deadline for new residency applications?
The British Embassy informs us that it will be necessary to apply for a new residence permit before 1 July 2021. Applicants will have to meet certain criteria; details of this and the required supporting documents have yet to be released. The Embassy is confident that it will be a ‘straightforward’ process and expects a ‘flexible approach’ to be applied.
If I stay, will I have to join the French tax system?
The Embassy replied that the UK and France share a double taxation agreement which ensures that expats in France will not have to pay tax on the same income in both countries, including expat pension income. However, the Embassy also advises expats to seek independent financial advice on taxation in France for their personal circumstances.
Will it still be possible to combine French and UK state pensions into a single European Pension?
Expat pension advice was provided on state pensions. The Embassy advises that “EU’s social security coordination rules will continue to apply to UK nationals living and/or working in the EU at the end of the transition period, for as long as they remain within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.” This means that France, like all EU member states, is required to take account of contributions made by all UK nationals regardless of whether they were made before, during or following the end of the transition period.
What will the inheritance tax position be involving property inherited in the future?
The British Embassy acknowledged the complex legal issues relating to succession. Each person’s individual circumstances will need to be considered; expert legal advice should therefore be sought. One piece of information provided was that UK nationals who are habitually resident in France can choose which jurisdiction’s law is applied when writing their Will; this will affect the issue of inheritance. If an inherited property is sold, the double taxation treaty with France would ensure that tax is only paid in one place.
Authorised retirement planning and pensions advice
AXIS Financial Consultants are specialist overseas financial advisers in France. We help clients make sense of their cross-border tax issues and offer expat pension advice on matters such as International SIPPs and QROPS in France.
AXIS are a regulated European Courtier d’Assurance: reg. no. 1700 3701. We are also licensed as ‘investment advisers’ by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) in France. We are committed to clear and transparent client costs and always keep our fees and commission as low as possible.
Contact us today for a full assessment of your circumstances and needs.