Reader wins a €1,200 French social charges refund

A reader is to receive a €1,200 refund of French social charges after he was prompted by an August 2019 Connexion article to apply to his tax office

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He said: “Your article and advice helped and more than repaid my subscription!”

The reader, from Haute-Garonne, had been telling the tax office for around 10 years that he and his wife should not pay the charges.

Their income was UK state pensions, an NHS pension, a BT pension and UK bank interest.

He said it is not clear which gave rise to the charges for 2016-18 but he argued for refunds due to being pensioners with healthcare paid for by the UK via the S1 scheme.

Two factors may be involved. First, there is a charges exemption on foreign pension income for those who are “not a burden on France’s healthcare system”.

Secondly, courts have confirmed a right to refunds of charges on property capital gains, rental and invest­ment incomes – including bank interest – of non-residents and residents affiliated to another EU/EEA social security regime (as of 2019 this income is liable to lower charges at 7.5%).

It is still possible to claim for charges levied in 2018, by the end of 2020. The deadline has passed for earlier years.