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Pension rights, SCIs: Reader money queries about France answered

Can paying in periods in UK count towards a French pension? What consequences for selling surplus garden honey and tax breaks for media subscriptions. Questions from our November Money column

Do not hesitate to contact your pension fund to take the necessary steps Pic: Studio Romantic / Lora liu / Hadrian / Milan Vachal / Shutterstock

1. Can paying-in periods in UK be accounted for a pension in France?

My wife would like to retire next year, aged 63, but she does not have enough trimestres (paying-in periods) in France. If she could add the years she worked in the UK, she would have more than enough.  How does she get her years working in the UK added to the trimestres?  T.A.

A spokeswoman for the Caisse nationale d’assurance vieillesse (Cnav), which oversees the pension bodies for employees in mainstream sectors, said she could retire and obtain a pension if she wanted to, as she will be old enough (the current age being 62) and there is no minimum paying-in period to accrue some form of French pension entitlement (even if very small). 

The issue would be the décote reductions that are applied to the calculation of the pension, depending on how far off you are from having paid in for the full ‘normal’ period. 

Either one or other of the recent Brexit deals assists in this situation. For those covered by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (living in France before 2021), this treaty helps, and for those who moved from 2021, the trade and cooperation deal comes into play.

These ensure an ‘EU aggregation’ system still applies to the UK. This helps to increase the amount of French pension a claimant will get, by accounting for periods in the UK, thus reducing the effect of the décote. 

It means your wife will obtain a better French pension than if the periods in the UK were not accounted for.

As a French resident who has worked in France, your wife can find out more from her French pension body, which can liaise with UK authorities. She could also ask about the possibility of paying extra to top up some trimestres.

Read more: Can I pay to top up my French pension?
Read more: 5 ways to review pension options for your life in France
Read more: Can foreign residents claim France’s pension top-up benefit?

2. What are the tax effects in France if I sell my surplus honey?

We have seven beehives and now have a surplus of honey. Can we sell this from our gate or through a local shop or do we need permission from someone? Are there any tax implications? We are retired and have lived here for over 15 years and pay no tax any more.  C.M.

This is considered to be agricultural income, and if the surplus of honey is a one-off, it can be declared in the revenus exceptionnels section of the income tax declaration, box 0XX (on the 2042C if declaring by paper).

In the space provided, you need to explain the source of income, the period of dates during which the income was earned and that you do not belong to an accounting organisation (organisme de gestion agréé).

Please note that mentioning you do not belong to an accounting organisation when declaring agricultural income will cause a 15% increase in the declared income for the purpose of calculating your income tax.

If the income is not of a one-off nature, you must apply to the chamber of agriculture for a business siret number and the income should be declared as part of your annual declaration each year, in this case using the section for independent workers under revenus agricoles (in the 2042C PRO if using a paper form). This does not necessarily entail paying business social charges if you only have a small number of hives.

Read more: How to harvest your own sweet honey in France

3. Tax credits for a media subscription in France

The Connexion tax guide refers to a 30% tax credit for subscribing to an online news source. How can I claim this and on what form?  W.H.

The tax credit is a one-off offer based on a first 12-month subscription to regular press, whether digital or in paper format, taken out from May 9, 2021, to December 31, 2022.

The publication must be of a regular nature, and devote most of its space to information and comments aiming to improve awareness of general and political current affairs, local, national or international. 

It must be of interest to a wide group of the public - and unfortunately, is not available for subscriptions to The Connexion.

It is also not available to publications subscribed to as part of a kiosque numérique offer grouping several publications, if any are not of an eligible kind.

The credit is for 30% of the cost of the subscription and the claim will no doubt be on the tax declaration from next spring, where the total cost will have to be inserted to allow the Fisc to calculate the credit. 

The exact box number is unknown at this stage. A copy of the receipt of payment needs to be retained for your records, in case the tax office asks for proof.

4. Declaration needed by SCIs

TOur property has been owned via an SCI for 25 years, but we have had a letter regarding obligation de déclaration des bénéficiaires effectifs (obligation of declaration of the actual beneficiaries). How can we make this declaration?  M.S.

The government decided a few years ago to create a register of all company shareholders, and of those who own or have a right of control over the company, hence the form.

It is a one-off, unless there is significant change to report. You can do it on Cerfa 16062*01 at the greffe (office) of the tribunal de commerce of your main town, usually accompanied by a payment of €47.42, but we suggest double-checking this fee at the tribunal. It is also possible to declare online.

Read more: Income declarations for French SCIs explained

Do you have a financial question? Send your financial queries to Hugh MacDonald ay Please ensure you mark your emails for the attention of Mr MacDonald. 

The Connexion welcomes queries and publishes a selection with answers every print edition. However, please note that we cannot enter into correspondence on money topics. Queries may be edited for length and style. Due to the sensitive nature of topics we do not publish full names or addresses. 

The information here is of a general nature. You should not act or refrain from acting on it without taking professional advice on the specific facts of your case. No liability is accepted in respect of these articles. These articles are intended only as a general guide. Nothing herein constitutes actual financial advice. 

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