Taxed in both UK and France

In recent months I received a French tax demand, which I paid, but my friends say it cannot be right as my state pension and work pension are taxed at source in the UK. Are the French tax authorities within their rights to tax me as well?  I.B.

27 February 2019
By Hugh MacDonald

The general rule is that any right to tax your income, apart from a few exceptions, rests with the country in which you are resident, and as is outlined in the double tax treaties.

On taking French residency, you normally need to complete the UK tax form SI 2009 Number 226 (available with an internet search) once you have your French tax reference number, and then send this to the French tax office for them to countersign, before sending the English version of the form on to the UK’s HMRC. In this way, taxation is transferred from the UK to France, in accordance with the double tax treaty.

If you are still being taxed in the UK on your state and occupational pensions, this is incorrect but probably due to the fact that HMRC have not received the form. You should complete it (it is in both French and English) and send both parts to the French tax office with a reply-paid envelope asking for them to return to you the English version, which you should then return to HMRC.

Any tax overpaid in the UK before April 5, 2018 will be refunded to you by HMRC, and any tax overpaid by you in the UK since the same date will be refunded through the PAYE system.

You should advise your friends to do the same to comply with international law, since where one pays income tax is a question of fact, not choice.

Reader's query answered by Hugh MacDonald

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