How long before I am resident in France?

Is there a maximum number of days allowed in France each year before having to register for French tax, other than taxe foncière or taxe d’habitation?  C.F.

26 June 2019
By Hugh MacDonald

Yes, but France has four rules for defining tax residency, so it is more complicated than simply the number of days.

One of them is having your home in France.

As to spending time in France, this has a maximum of 182 days but it is not limited to this. Spending, for example, five months in France, three in another country and four in another would still qualify someone as resident in France since most of the tax year was spent in France.

Then there is “having one’s centre of economic interests in France”. This means France is the country from which one manages one’s affairs.

Running a business in France is the final factor that may denote tax residency (meaning that you must declare all your worldwide income to France for French income tax).

While being caught by any one of these rules can lead to French fiscal residency, it might not... In some cases, you might need to be caught by two or more of these rules (if in doubt, take professional advice).

The general rule is that taxpayers retain fiscal residency of the country from which they come and only take fiscal residency of the country they move to if and when that country’s rules apply to them.

Double tax treaties also set rules that define which country has what taxation right and in what circumstances.

Reader's query answered by Hugh MacDonald

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