Double taxation issues?

Post date: Jan 28, 2013 4:48:40 PM

Well I haven't written anything for the French blog for a ridiculously long time, its probably fair to say I'm not a good 'blogger'! Initial rushes of enthusiasm are soon followed by frank indifference or at the best 'oh I must do that soon'! As usual real life and 'being busy just takes over!! Anyway what is good to know is that whilst I may not be a habitual writer about the 'doings of the French Luscombes' someone must have been reading the wretched thing as I had an email from a newly expat Jersey resident a week or two ago asking about the whole double taxation and residency thing!! To summarise I have taken the soft option and transcribed the email exchange here but in short its fair to say everyone is probably different and we all have to make our own path! (ooh that sounds like a cop out!!).

"Sorry to trouble you but I read your blog some time ago and was wondering if you would be happy to share how you managed to sort out earning money in Jersey and the tax situation. My husband works in Jersey and I have recently moved into our maison secondaire with our two children, I am not earning he is but france has this little sentence that means hell of a lot "you are tax resident where your children are" this puts us in an awkward situation as he is also resident in Jersey."

Nice to hear from you (and that someone actually reads my blog, perhaps I should start updating it again!!). As you say it is something of a minefield, I was not aware of the 'children clause' but as we don't have dependant children living with us the question wouldn't arise. We did find though that we had to declare our France house as our primary residence to get the mortgage and avoid import tax on our belongings when we moved then promptly 'move back' to jersey (figuratively speaking) once the house was officially ours. We rent a flat in jersey which for tax reasons is our primary residence and though I work from home in france part of the time and in the office in jersey the other part I have to make sure I am in jersey for not less than 6 months or France will clobber me for tax as well as jersey. Having the jersey address has meant France is our second home and though my wife spends far more time there than me she is not in full time employment (she works part time from time to time in de Gruchy when she comes over to the island with me!) and is to all intents and purposes holidaying there (and I get to visit her ;-) !! We have been in France for just under 2 years and have not yet been asked to fill out a tax return so the acid test has yet to follow! We are also awaiting our 2011 habitation tax bill which we were told would be sent to us in October! I am presuming your children are in full time education now in France which will undoubtedly make matters difficult as it removes the argument that your house in France is your holiday home?! Good luck with it all, there are specialist tax advisers/accountants who will be able to provide better and fuller information than I can I am quite sure but if there is anything else I can help with don't hesitate to get in touch.

"Thankyou for your reply, It is a minefield but hopefully the fact that (my husband) is in Jersey for the majority of the time may go in our favour. At the end of the day we can say we are separated, it is for them to prove otherwise! I love Jersey just couldn't find work so had no choice but to leave and France was better for Sean to still see the girls regularly (not my choice as I am ex UK)"

Good luck guys, we never stop learning and if it was easy everyone would do it!!