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Old Sep 24th 2017, 3:54 pm   #31
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

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Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I would suggest that anyone wondering whether they can move to France or another EU state to work read this:

Posted workers - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion - European Commission

it concerns the posting of workers temporarily in another EU country as well as whether you can be self-employed in another country.

FWIW I'd like to point out that I lived in France for 11 years and was both employed and had my own business. Paerhaps Pulaski would like to clarify his experiences relevant to posting on this particular topic?
Doing some "work" while on holiday is never going to be a problem. Many people take extended (longer than two weeks), holidays and take their lap top with them for some remote "work", and nobody ever bats an eyelid.

We had a couple of similar "debates" recently on the US forum, about work and visas, and some members started quoting statute law and lawyers web sites, which advised on the strict letter of the law and "worst case scenario" situations, respectively. The people who were, quite frankly, doing nothing more than reposting their Google searches, we're unable to cite any real world examples of someone having the issues under the circumstances described. ..... And posting links to statue law is IMO no more useful in citing the consequences of driving at 51kph in a 50kph zone - you can be fined, because that is what the law says, but in practice very few people actually are, so long as they look out for the speed traps.

So, aside from "letter of the law" links, does anyone have any real world examples of someone on holiday (which was the only and specific circumstance under which I was commenting, which Novocastrian recognized), being prosecuted for tax evasion?

Despite PF'S attempts to stretch my advice into something that I did not say, I did not, and would not advise anyone to try to "fly under the radar" with respect to work for any period after moving, permanently, or potentially permanently to France. In other words, if you are planning a move to France, get your tax registration and business structure lined up ahead of moving, or failing that, immediately after you arrive.
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 4:02 pm   #32
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

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No - but apparently he may be returning to the UK on a regular basis, so he wouldn't be a posted worker but he might be a cross border worker, ie lives in one country and works in another. I'm sure there are lots of expats who commute back to the UK and are covered by the UK social security system on this basis. HMRC will look at his work pattern and IF they consider that as a worker he is still UK based, even though his family home is in France, he will continue paying NICs in the UK. Usually that would mean spending most of the working week in the UK and not doing any significant work in France (at the end of the year you have to report how many days' work you did in your country of residence and how many days you spent in the UK). Any dependent family members in France would also be covered by the UK but if his wife is working in any capacity, she would not be a dependent.
+1
looking at the guidelines for this that Daphne wrote and which I posted earlier in the thread.. I think you are correct.

"(1) France is your ‘home’: If you have property in France and another country, but the latter is not available for your personal use (for example, because it is rented to tenants), then France is your home.

(2) France is your ‘centre of economic interest’: Generally, this means where your income is paid from. In addition to pension, salaries, etc., this can include bank interest and other investment income.

(3) France is your place of ‘habitual abode’: Notably, no reference is made in the law to the number of days that you actually spend in France and this is where many people are caught out, believing that if they do not spend at least 183 days in France, then they can decide that they are not resident. This is not the case and your place of ‘habitual abode’ is, quite simply, where you spend most time.

(4) Nationality: If your residency has not been established by any of the above points, then it will be your nationality that determines your residence, however, this is very rare."


So he would have to be very careful about spending more time outside France than in it.

His wife has her own company. If she is a director of that company and doesn't take a regular salary but takes dividends then the tax situation is different to that of an employee. The dividends could be used to pay the rent on her husbands flat in the UK for example and not come to France. This is really out of my area of knowledge, my friend has told me how he manages it all but I would be afraid of being completely off target - so she really should talk to her accountant about this. It may mean she remains a dependant.
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 4:07 pm   #33
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

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+1
looking at the guidelines for this that Daphne wrote and which I posted earlier in the thread.. I think you are correct.

"(1) France is your ‘home’: If you have property in France and another country, but the latter is not available for your personal use (for example, because it is rented to tenants), then France is your home.

(2) France is your ‘centre of economic interest’: Generally, this means where your income is paid from. In addition to pension, salaries, etc., this can include bank interest and other investment income.

(3) France is your place of ‘habitual abode’: Notably, no reference is made in the law to the number of days that you actually spend in France and this is where many people are caught out, believing that if they do not spend at least 183 days in France, then they can decide that they are not resident. This is not the case and your place of ‘habitual abode’ is, quite simply, where you spend most time.

(4) Nationality: If your residency has not been established by any of the above points, then it will be your nationality that determines your residence, however, this is very rare."


So he would have to be very careful about spending more time outside France than in it. .....
Thank you, so for a 3-4 month holiday he wouldn't meet any of those criteria. Hopefully PetiteFrancaise will see your sage advice.

Oh!
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 4:08 pm   #34
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

French law on social security and tax applies to people who LIVE AND work in France, ie residents. Someone on holiday in a country is by definition a visitor and not a resident. As such they are not subject to laws that apply only to residents. So being prosecuted for working while on holiday in a country is not an issue. The possible issue would be their status, ie have they outstayed their 3 months or have they done anything else that might be considered to make them resident as per the French residence criteria. The authorities aren't daft, they know the difference between someone who has a home and a life in one country and is visiting a different country, and someone who is pretending to be a visitor but is actually living in a country under the radar and doesn't have a home somewhere else.
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 4:09 pm   #35
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

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Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Doing some "work" while on holiday is never going to be a problem. Many people take extended (longer than two weeks), holidays and take their lap top with them for some remote "work", and nobody ever bats an eyelid.

We had a couple of similar "debates" recently on the US forum, about work and visas, and some members started quoting statute law and lawyers web sites, which advised on the strict letter of the law and "worst case scenario" situations, respectively. The people who were, quite frankly, doing nothing more than reposting their Google searches, we're unable to cite any real world examples of someone having the issues under the circumstances described. ..... And posting links to statue law is IMO no more useful in citing the consequences of driving at 51kph in a 50kph zone - you can be fined, because that is what the law says, but in practice very few people actually are, so long as they look out for the speed traps.

So, aside from "letter of the law" links, does anyone have any real world examples of someone on holiday (which was the only and specific circumstance under which I was commenting, which Novocastrian recognized), being prosecuted for tax evasion?

Despite PF'S attempts to stretch my advice into something that I did not say, I did not, and would not advise anyone to try to "fly under the radar" with respect to work for any period after moving, permanently, or potentially permanently to France. In other words, if you are planning a move to France, get your tax registration and business structure lined up ahead of moving, or failing that, immediately after you arrive.
Dear Pulaski,
the discussion has moved on and uncovered information that was new to the France forum and fundamentally changes the advice we may give out.

You could also go back and read the post #1.

In short, because obviously all this is too much for you to actually read -
he doesn't have to fly under the radar, he doesn't have to do anything illegally. Possible paths have been opened up for him to investigate.

And to use your analogy, I would not advise my children to drive at 51 mph in a 50 zone. I advise them that the rules are there for a good reason and life is much less stressful if you don't live on the edge of breaking them
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 4:12 pm   #36
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

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.... he doesn't have to fly under the radar, he doesn't have to do anything illegally. .....
Those were my points, I am glad you have come around to my way of thinking.
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 4:18 pm   #37
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

Oh really,

Gosh, we should just all leave this advice up to you then?

No you were not correct. You were advising him that he could break the law and not be caught.
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 4:20 pm   #38
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

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His wife has her own company. If she is a director of that company and doesn't take a regular salary but takes dividends then the tax situation is different to that of an employee. The dividends could be used to pay the rent on her husbands flat in the UK for example and not come to France. This is really out of my area of knowledge, my friend has told me how he manages it all but I would be afraid of being completely off target - so she really should talk to her accountant about this. It may mean she remains a dependant.
She would need to take advice for sure. As I understand it, dividends attract a lot of income tax in France and even if that money doesn't touch France then if she is resident here then she has to declare worldwide income here, And if she actually "works" in France which presumably she would, then I believe she would be obliged to have an employment contract to pay herself for the work she does, even if only at SMIC. Either you are economically active or you're not, and if you have a function within the company then you are. AFAIK being economically active but not declaring an earned income is not an option in France. The only circumstances where you take dividends but no salary is if you are a sleeping partner or shareholder in the business.
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 4:29 pm   #39
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She would need to take advice for sure. As I understand it, dividends attract a lot of income tax in France and even if that money doesn't touch France then if she is resident here then she has to declare worldwide income here, And if she actually "works" in France which presumably she would, then I believe she would be obliged to have an employment contract to pay herself for the work she does, even if only at SMIC. Either you are economically active or you're not, and if you have a function within the company then you are. AFAIK being economically active but not declaring an earned income is not an option in France. The only circumstances where you take dividends but no salary is if you are a sleeping partner or shareholder in the business.
I don't know the ins and outs at all. For my friend, he has a company in the UK and he is also micro-entreprise in France which gets him enough to live on and pays charges sociales etc. Maybe his UK company buys stuff/pays for accommodation which are tax deductible in the UK ? The company had an apartment for example which was rented out but there was a spare room for him to rent for when he needed to stay in the UK. Like I said, lots of options.. the OP's wife could do something similar in France, ie her cotisations could pay for the family and the OP could be the dependant?

This is where Loic would be good. It's his area of specialty, I think. Maybe we could send him messages saying we'd like him back?
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 4:31 pm   #40
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

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the discussion has moved on and uncovered information that was new to the France forum and fundamentally changes the advice we may give out.
In fact I see I've been banging on about workers' S1s since 2014 Health care insurance but it's hard to convince some people sometimes, if it's not what they want to hear. I hope Howie's wife is still getting away with it.

I see this one got a bit heated too Getting social security number in france
Hopefully I've learned a lesson since then and won't get so cross next time when people ask for advice and you give it and they completely ignore it. But it is a bit irritating when you try to help and it turns out you wasted your time.

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Old Sep 24th 2017, 4:36 pm   #41
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Oh really,

Gosh, we should just all leave this advice up to you then?

No you were not correct. You were advising him that he could break the law and not be caught.
Rather than making random assertions, perhaps you would care to quote where I said he could break the law? Or are you an undisclosed French lawyer just masquerading as an out-of practice dental hygienist?
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 5:01 pm   #42
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

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In fact I see I've been banging on about workers' S1s since 2014 Health care insurance but it's hard to convince some people sometimes, if it's not what they want to hear. I hope Howie's wife is still getting away with it.

I see this one got a bit heated too Getting social security number in france
Hopefully I've learned a lesson since then and won't get so cross next time when people ask for advice and you give it and they completely ignore it. But it is a bit irritating when you try to help and it turns out you wasted your time.
ET, just to run something past you..
we all know that in france you can't be self employed with only 1 client ( well,not for long anyway). If a UK self-employed person moved to France and initially got the S1 as a temporary worker, would they be able to have only 1 client? The UK rules as far as I know are much more lax on this.

For example, for the OP here, he became a self employed "consultant" in the UK then got a contract working for say IBM in France. would that be ok? Just for the 2 years? I knew a few Airbus contractors that did this but they gave me the impression that they were sailing a bit close to the wind. My OH's company also got fined heavily by the prudhomme for the way they used contract workers but I think that was more because they renewed contracts past the allowable limit.
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 5:59 pm   #43
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

This thread is being totally spoilt by Pulaski and petitefrancaise having a personal battle so I suggest that they continue their argument by PM and not detract from the discussion.

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Old Sep 24th 2017, 6:04 pm   #44
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

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we all know that in france you can't be self employed with only 1 client
Maybe everybody "knows" it but in fact it's a myth. URSSAF's main criterion for deciding whether or not it's genuine self employment is the relationship between the client/employer and contractor/employee, ie the degree of independence / supervision. Factors might be - does the worker set their own scale of fees that the client either accepts or chooses another provider, or does the employer offer a wage that the employee either accepts or declines; does the worker set their own terms and conditions that the client has to agree to; can the worker decline projects that are offered if they happen to be too busy or they want to take time off or they just don't fancy that particular project; if they accept, can they decide how, where and when to actually do the work as long as they deliver the deliverables by the agreed deadline; can they subcontract all or part of the work involved; do they invest in and provide their own materials and equipment; if they invest in better facilities to increase productivity do they benefit directly; if their equipment breaks down or they make a balls up do they suffer the financial consequences or does the employer take the hit; does the employer rely on the contractor and would it cause a problem for the business if that particular contractor wasn't available; if the client/employer went out of business, would their own business activity also cease or would their business survive.

Basically the difference between running your own business and working for someone else is the difference of whether your business and your client's business are separate entities, and usually it's easy to decide. If you have your own business you market your services, you bid for work, you have overheads such as advertising, paying an accountant or doing your own accounts; you have good months and you have lean months, probably you have a business plan that you are constantly reviewing to see how you can grow your business, and sometimes you decide to change direction and/or diversify and invest in new software or hardware or premises; you're in the driving seat and you make the business decisions, if you make a good decision you benefit and if you make a poor decision you suffer. If you work for someone else's business you won't do all these things, you just do what you're paid to do and leave it to your boss to worry about profit and loss and how to pay your wages at the end of the month.

It's perfectly possible for a worker to have numerous clients, and URSSAF will look at the relationships and could decide that out of those 6, they might accept the majority as clients but reclassify one or two as employers because they give too many instructions and the worker doesn't have enough independence (eg you give private tuition in your own home to clients you've got through your own advertising channels - self-employed - and you work for half a day in a language school, teaching their syllabus to students they have recruited for an hourly rate that they offered you - salarié). And it's equally possible for a worker to have only one client but be genuinely self-employed, eg a printer with his own printing press who gets enough orders for brochures and documents from one big corporate client, or alternatively, someone starting a business who is advertising and marketing their services but has so far only got one client.

So for the consultants you mention, it depends what the contract says. If the contract specifies working hours, place of work, duties to be performed and an hourly rate or monthly salary, that is a salarié - he is working for the company. If the consultant bids for and wins a series of contracts to deliver various services (eg carrying out inspections at specified sites and delivering specified reports by agreed deadlines), then even if those contracts happen to all be for the same company, there is no problem.

FWIW most French companies are very careful about this. All the contracts I have with clients define exactly what the relationship is and make it very clear that there is no direct supervision and no obligation on either side beyond the scope of each separate project, ie me delivering the finished job by the delivery deadline and them paying my invoice by the payment deadline.

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Old Sep 25th 2017, 9:41 pm   #45
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Default Re: Potential Bordeaux move in 2018

Hi All! WOW!

Sorry for being AWOL after my initial query - various excuses but non you need to know about ;o)

I really do appreciate all of the advice, I've had to skim read it due to the huge amounts of responses but I will review again properly and take some notes and check out any relevant links that you have kindly posted.

Someone has spotted my similar post in 'Spain' but our preference really is Bordeaux at this time subject to understanding the various issues/concerns/non-issues etc that have been debated above. I will also seek professional advice and it may be that we review our plans slightly to suit any legislation or tax concerns but I'll really have to take a look at the above thread properly first!

Once again, thanks for all of the offered advice - regardless of the different opinions it's all useful especially as we are looking so far ahead so have plenty of time to resolve any issues - I'm sure there will be many more queries as well!

Ref Brexit it has has nothing at all to do with our desire to move abroad, this is something we'd been looking to do since we met each other ten years ago - if anything it's spurred us into action.

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