The difference between ‘lawful’ and ‘tax’ residence

This column is by Bill Blevins of Blevins Franks financial advice group ( He has decades of experience advising expatriates in France and co-authored the Blevins Franks Guide to Living in France

“Residence in France” is a key topic at the moment, with Brexit under way and the clock ticking down to the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020.

Many UK nationals are, advisably, taking the necessary steps to cement their residence in France this year before the rules change in 2021.
There are, however, two different concepts of residence you need to be aware of:

  • Lawful residence – your rights, as a national of one country, to live and work in another;
  • Tax residence – the country which has taxing rights over your worldwide income, gains and wealth.

Lawful residence in France
While we still do not know what the UK’s new relationship with the EU will look like, the transition period provides some certainty for the rest of this year. 

UK nationals have the freedom to move to live in France this year, as they did before Brexit.

Those who are lawfully settled in ...

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