French social charges on UK pensions

My wife and I, both 76, were charged social charges last year.

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I receive a state old age pension from the UK plus a work pension and private pensions; my wife receives the UK state old age pension and a private pension.Neither of us has other income and we are both registered with Cpam with S1 forms. Our accountant believes none of our pension income is exempt – is he correct? A.F.

UK pension incomes are exempt from French social charges if you are not a liability to the French social security system. This is so in your cases as you both have S1s, meaning the UK is paying for your healthcare.

However, it is not unusual for the tax office to charge the social charges on pension income, usually because they do not know that you are not a liability as they have not had, or cannot find, your original S1.

The best thing to do is to write to the tax office stating that you are not due to pay the social charges as you have an S1 and send them a copy.

Note also that in this year’s declaration, as we cover further in our French Income Tax 2019 helpguide, there was a new box in the 2042C which could be crossed to confirm that you are not a liability.

If you have already declared and did not do this, you may want to correct it. This is simple to do if you declared online.

Reader's query answered by Hugh MacDonald

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