Q: How will Brexit affect my tax situation in France?
A: In last month’s article, I briefly covered the EU treaty’s four freedoms that give EU citizens the right to live in and operate a business in France.
We saw that these rights may be lost or significantly modified by Brexit – but what would be the tax position?
The first element is tax residence/domicile and I consider it is likely that there will be before and after rules: conditions and rights that are currently in place for Britons residing in France may continue while new rules will apply to those who settle in France afterwards.
It is unlikely that rights acquired by hundreds of thousands of British expats who have settled in other EU countries will be suddenly revoked and with retrospective effect, obliging them to sell up and return to the UK.
One would hope, on the contrary, that the intricate bonds created over the past 40 years for British nationals and business now established in France will operate under existing rules, with no effect to their French residence rights and tax domicile.
With regards to taxing rights, Brexit does not call into question other treaties that the UK has with its EU partners. This means the current double taxation agreement between France and the UK will continue, as it does not form part of the EU treaty.
Therefore the current rules for the elimination of double taxation for businesses and individuals will continue unchanged.
The Brexit vote has given rise to a lot of political rhetoric, unfortunately creating uncertainty and fear. Considering the size of the British community in France, it is to be hoped that more clarity and assurances from both the UK and French governments will soon be forthcoming as it applies to matters such as residence, pensions and healthcare.
Reader's query answered by Olaf Muscat Baron, of Fiscaly, Dordogne
Tel: 09 81 09 00 15
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