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A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Old Dec 26th 2023, 12:19 pm
  #46  
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Just found this - this idea's <<<super>>> important for people without too much money retiring to France before 67.
Presumably by the wording 'Many UK nationals ... ... ' - this is a particular issue!

Source Jan 2023
The Blevins Franks Guide To Taxes In France


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Old Dec 26th 2023, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by cyrian
A few years ago an elderly French friend was walking on a shared pedestrian and cyclist path.
He was knocked over by a cyclist and he was hospitalised with kidney damage.
If you don't have mutuelle cover then you would have to pay the difference in treatment from your own pocket.
You may also want to consider that in the future if you require to move into a care home then it is your children's responsibility to pay for your care.
It is also not true to say that you cannot get a GP appointment in the UK.
You may have to wait because of the people who already have an appointment and you have NHS111 available plus A&E.
You should perhaps Google " déserts médicaux" in France.
There are areas in France without GPs especially in rural areas.
France is suffering many of the same problems that exist in the UK.
You should also consider global warming in your research.
In our area, 20 years ago the summer temperatures were mid-20s to high 20s.
Today, it frequently reaches mid-30s to high-30s.
This has had devastating effects on agriculture in France.
The lack of water in the summer combined with the depletion of the water table has made life difficult for farmers and those relying on wells for their water supply.
HTH
Thanks I understand.

To be honest - the main reason for the switch is to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle - to try and beat disease and to withdraw from the Consumerist madness that's taken most of the world by storm.

Our key 'hobby' is fasting - so the goal is to go for weeks or months without eating - have only managed a couple so far!
It's not really a big deal - somebody's managed > 1 year.

RE: GP appointments - we've long since given up trying but it is possible especially if retired.
We are able to communicate with a GP by letter though!

Global warming and healthcare are two key parts of our decision-making process.
Cambridge is at sea level.

A major part of the decision to go to Pau, foot of the Pyrennees - go up if too warm or stay put if too cold!

Actually was just thinking about giving up cycling also - and defaulting to running - cycling might be too dangerous!

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Old Dec 26th 2023, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Actually, cycling is a national hobby in France and cyclists are a protected species.
We visited a friend who lived in the foothills of the Pyrenees and the problem was wildfires during a drought.
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Old Dec 26th 2023, 1:13 pm
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The environment is in trouble.

Hoping to be a part of a permaculture group when we move.

Have just been following a Cordoban community (majority of global olive oil production) - and climate change is compromising their output.

Olive oil is about the only thing that we're after food-wise - but we're switching to cold-pressed rapeseed oil as olive oil becomes harder to source and too expensive.

'colza' I believe :-).
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Old Dec 26th 2023, 5:46 pm
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Anyway back to work and so thanks forum! for taking me from zero knowledge in terms of taxes in France and in introducing me to 'Social charge'

- am prepared for a conversation with a professional Tax type now!

Have to say though - I'm used to fairly complex stuff but the rules concerning tax are scary because of the rate of change of the rules and the freedom for Tax officers to interprete them as they see fit.

If this sort of thing happened in Science, IT - we'd achieve nothing. Similarly in straight communication, if somebody were to decide to take a pre-existing word such as 'Pension' and then define it in a different, more restrictive and specific way.
The simplest way to overcome all of these issues would be to have a dummy website where we could enter our data and it'd explain what's beign taken off in tax and why; we'd be able to delete 'tax officer' and 'tax adviser' and replace them with a computer that was consistent, could not lie and always offered us the best advice.

I summarise everything I do in IT/Science when I finish a thread - but can't do that here because I'm still not sure which taxes apply to the various ways we can draw from a UK retirement pot in France by age.

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Old Dec 28th 2023, 10:07 am
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Have you considered somewhere other than France? With a wife with a French passport presumably it would be fairly easy for you to move anywhere within the EU, so somewhere with a lower tax regime may suit better (Portugal??).
I think christmasoompa is right.
Everything about this thread brings to mind square pegs and round holes.

In your very first post you said your reasons for moving to France were
Originally Posted by SB_UK
Mostly about the much cheaper cost of living
which in fact I don't believe is even the case. The cost of living in France is generally calculated as significantly higher than in UK, eg here, France is rated as having the 9th highest cost of living in Europe and UK 17th. Whereas Portugal is 28th.
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-livin...023&region=150

France is what it is. It's perfectly possible to live here very happily but I think most people who have come here from the UK would agree that you need to be prepared to do some adapting and rethinking. And it's easier to do that if there are things about France that you positively like/have an interest in, that made you want to be specifically in France rather than in any other country - the culture, the lifestyle, the food, the language, the landscape, whatever. I've never been convinced that the perception of cheaper houses and more sun than the UK is enough, although you're not the first to cite those as reasons for making the move. I guess most of us who have lived here for a while have watched foreigners come and go, and seen a definite pattern that Brits who persist in the attitude that France is crackers, it should do things differently and preferably like the UK does, tend to recognize after typically 2 or 3 years that France will never be for them; and back they go. There is no right and wrong about these things, they are neither right nor wrong and neither is France, it's just a case of square pegs not fitting round holes/different mindsets not meshing. Either a person is prepared to round off a few corners/change their mindset or they're not, that is their choice and nobody else's, but what's for sure is that France will not change just to suit them. I may be reading you wrong but I do not sense that you are open to changing your mindset.
And your veggies won't grow well if they are constantly bombarded with anti France tirades. You need an unperturbed spirit to talk nicely to them..
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Old Dec 29th 2023, 7:45 am
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Originally Posted by EuroTrash
I think christmasoompa is right.
Everything about this thread brings to mind square pegs and round holes.

In your very first post you said your reasons for moving to France were

which in fact I don't believe is even the case. The cost of living in France is generally calculated as significantly higher than in UK, eg here, France is rated as having the 9th highest cost of living in Europe and UK 17th. Whereas Portugal is 28th.
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-livin...023&region=150

France is what it is. It's perfectly possible to live here very happily but I think most people who have come here from the UK would agree that you need to be prepared to do some adapting and rethinking. And it's easier to do that if there are things about France that you positively like/have an interest in, that made you want to be specifically in France rather than in any other country - the culture, the lifestyle, the food, the language, the landscape, whatever. I've never been convinced that the perception of cheaper houses and more sun than the UK is enough, although you're not the first to cite those as reasons for making the move. I guess most of us who have lived here for a while have watched foreigners come and go, and seen a definite pattern that Brits who persist in the attitude that France is crackers, it should do things differently and preferably like the UK does, tend to recognize after typically 2 or 3 years that France will never be for them; and back they go. There is no right and wrong about these things, they are neither right nor wrong and neither is France, it's just a case of square pegs not fitting round holes/different mindsets not meshing. Either a person is prepared to round off a few corners/change their mindset or they're not, that is their choice and nobody else's, but what's for sure is that France will not change just to suit them. I may be reading you wrong but I do not sense that you are open to changing your mindset.
And your veggies won't grow well if they are constantly bombarded with anti France tirades. You need an unperturbed spirit to talk nicely to them..
Useful information - am currently gathering info on Spain + Portugal - much easier to understand their tax system which is great.

Lovely post - might I ask what you like about France? and what you think people hate about France?

[I work in healthcare / epidemiology - so am rather against any choice that's made which we've unequivocally shown links to disease but it's the same worldwide]

I've only lived there for about a year in total ... ... ...

Personally I love the mountains, snow, sun, vegetables, ease of access to other countries - to name the first 5 ideas that come to mind.
Can easily come up with another 5 if you like - the ability to drive to Africa via Morocco is a big one! Life on an island especially at sea level in Cambridge has no future!

The vegetables in the South of France are to die for!

To be fair - the only 'thing' I don't really like about France is the bureaucracy - and it's not really even the bureaucracy - it's the fact that it's very difficult to understand what it means.
Same thing in the UK re:bureaucracy but it's a bit easier here because our tax office appears to be making an effort to communicate.

Was on the phone to the French tax office yesterday to be told that they don't understand the Social charge re:my question re: pension drawdown.
They gave me the number of 'ameli' which I've been told on another forum can't help me because ameli relates to 'social service charge' not 'social charge'.

When the tax office doesn't know who specialises in the Social charge - there is a problem!

What don't people like about France? As mentioned my wife has ~16 years there and I've 1 year there - but we haven't visited in the last 5 years since all of my wife's relatives died.

I'd quite like to know what forces Brits back to France - would be very useful information.

Last edited by SB_UK; Dec 29th 2023 at 7:49 am.
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Old Dec 29th 2023, 9:34 am
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

The things I like about France are the weather, the access to nature, the healthcare and the fact it’s on a huge landmass.
That’s about it. I don’t like the bureaucracy and I find people generally in Alsace an unfriendly bunch. Fortunately I’ve got a big enough circle of non-Alsatian friends for that not to matter. For now.

I suspect what drives a lot of people back to the UK (assuming that’s what you meant), other than personal circumstances, is just the having to brace yourself every time you need to call an insurance company or the tax office or, God forbid, Free mobile. You might get someone nice but you can’t count on it.
The default setting in France is not pleasant and helpful.
Sometimes just the thought of calling NFU or Power NI and having a bit of friendly banter about the weather or mothers-in-law or whatever while sorting out insurance, utility queries is enough to get me thinking about packing my bags.
For now, it’s not enough to make up for lousy weather, crap access to healthcare and not being on a big landmass. But I’m getting older and one day it might be.



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Old Dec 29th 2023, 10:47 am
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Re your posts on another forum - it's hard to keep up with which ideas are still on the table and which aren't, but a couple of things you mentioned beg comments that as far as I saw nobody has made yet. Firstly, you mentioned in passing that you may work part time in France. You need to be aware that if you work in France for long enough to accrue any pension rights at all - which a couple of days a week for a year or so certainly would - you will not be entitlted to an S1 when you collect your UK pension. Not every UK pensioner gets one. You can get an S1 if (a) if you have no pension rights in the country where you live and (b) the UK was the last country where you worked prior to retirement. Secondly, you mentioned having a place in Wales and a place in Spain, I have no comment on the Spain angle but would suggest you think twice before getting a place in Wales and a place in France. You can only have one primary residence worldwide, which is normally in the country where you are tax resident (as opposed to being a non resident taxpayer with a second home in that country). Hence one of your two places will necessarily be a secondary residence, and both France and Wales levy extra taxes on second homes. Gwynedd for instance currently charges second home owners 150% of "council tax" and plans to increase this to 200% next year.

Originally Posted by SB_UK
Was on the phone to the French tax office yesterday to be told that they don't understand the Social charge re:my question re: pension drawdown.
I suspect it was more likely your question that they didn't understand. If you ask the tax office how CSG and CRDS are applied to foreign pension income (if you are sure it is, otherwise foreign investment income) they may explain or more likely they will direct you to their web pages where it is explained. (France has very good pulbic service websites.)
Originally Posted by SB_UK
I'd quite like to know what forces Brits back to France - would be very useful information.
Do you mean, what forces Brits back to the UK? I'm not aware of any Brits being forced back to France.
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Old Dec 29th 2023, 11:14 am
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Originally Posted by Helen1964
The things I like about France are the weather, the access to nature, the healthcare and the fact it’s on a huge landmass.
I don’t like the bureaucracy and I find people generally in Alsace an unfriendly bunch. Fortunately I’ve got a big enough circle of non-Alsatian friends for that not to matter. For now.

I suspect what drives a lot of people back to the UK (assuming that’s what you meant), other than personal circumstances, is just the having to brace yourself every time you need to call an insurance company or the tax office or, God forbid, Free mobile. You might get someone nice but you can’t count on it.
The default setting in France is not pleasant and helpful.
Sometimes just the thought of calling NFU or Power NI and having a bit of friendly banter about the weather or mothers-in-law or whatever while sorting out insurance, utility queries is enough to get me thinking about packing my bags.
For now, it’s not enough to make up for lousy weather, crap access to healthcare and not being on a big landmass. But I’m getting older and one day it might be.
Awww Helen.
I do know what you mean and you're not entirely wrong, it can be hard not to let it grind you down..
But I do hope you're just on a downer and not really as hacked off as you sound! I don't like to think of you being glum, you're always so frank and friendly and helpful on here.
I do wonder though whether Alsace is a particularly unfriendly part of France, do you think that might be part of it? Every region in France is different of course but to me, no offence meant but Alsace feels like it has a bit of a chip on its shoulder, Which I guess is to do with its history and you can't blame them for that. But I do find many other regions friendlier. For the first few years when I was new and bright eyed and bushy-tailed in France I made it my mission to try and make everyone I dealt with crack a smile, it was a little game I played for my own amusement, and to see whether it could be done despite what everybody said. Of course I didn't manage it but I didn't do too bad considering. Once I even manage to have a giggle on the phone with the tax office - the lady I was talking to told me I sounded just like Jane Birkin, and I told her to look at my tax return and when she saw what I earned she would know there was no similarity beyond the accent. Haha. But I gave myself a bonus point for that one. SAUR were lovely, I used to ring them up even for things I could have done online. I never did make any headway with EDF, we usually ended up slamming the phone down on each other - although the technicians when they came out were fine.
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Old Dec 29th 2023, 11:56 am
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Don’t mind me darling EuroTrash. I overdid the crémant last night and was feeling a tad grumpy.
Have just come back from the most beautiful bike ride along the Rhine with the Black Forest mountains on one side and the Vosges on the other and all is right with the world again.

The Alsatians are indeed more dour than people in other parts of France but no matter. I have friends here and Strasbourg as a city is becoming more diverse. Also, one of the upsides of digitalisation is that I have to talk to French companies/government agencies on the phone less and less as more and more gets done online.

A few weeks ago I was served breakfast at Belfast airport by a little robot. It was strangely endearing. Clean, polite and hardworking. If this catches on in France perhaps I will stay after all.
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Old Dec 29th 2023, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Originally Posted by Helen1964
Have just come back from the most beautiful bike ride along the Rhine with the Black Forest mountains on one side and the Vosges on the other and all is right with the world again.

Crémant - à consommer avec modération.

I'm intrigued by your robot-waiter. What does it look like? Can you interact with it, ask it to fetch you another spoon and things like that?
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Old Dec 29th 2023, 9:32 pm
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Originally Posted by SB_UK

I'd quite like to know what forces Brits back to France - would be very useful information.
Everyone is different and people choose to suit their individual tastes.
France is less accommodating than perhaps Spain in that you may find that French people don't want to speak with you in English.
Nobody in France other than a Dutch friend speaks to me in English.
It can be difficult to integrate or be accepted into a French community - particularly if you don't speak French.
Family come first in France. Being invited into a French home or group of friends is different from the Uk.
My OH is fluent in French which made all the difference for us.
We socialise a lot in France with neighbours and friends.
Six or seven hour lunches are not uncommon for us.
If you can't achieve this social interaction then perhaps France can be a lonely place.
France is not better than the UK. Some things are perhaps better in France but also some things are better in the UK.
The French are unhappy with the state of France. They are fed up with their leaders and the level of political corruption.
France has many of the same problems that we experience in the UK.
France is a magnificent country with a rich cultural history and wonderful language - but so is the UK.
You need to fit into French society and not expect France to fit into your way of life.
HTH
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Old Dec 30th 2023, 4:50 am
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Originally Posted by EuroTrash

Crémant - à consommer avec modération.

I'm intrigued by your robot-waiter. What does it look like? Can you interact with it, ask it to fetch you another spoon and things like that?
I was so entranced by it I didn’t think to ask it questions but I don’t think it was interactive. Hopefully by the time I see it again it will have advanced and offer to do my French tax return while waiting for me to finish my Ulster fry.
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Old Dec 30th 2023, 8:14 am
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Default Re: A Thread on Tax for simple-minded people

Originally Posted by EuroTrash
Firstly, you mentioned in passing that you may work part time in France. You need to be aware that if you work in France for long enough to accrue any pension rights at all - which a couple of days a week for a year or so certainly would - you will not be entitlted to an S1 when you collect your UK pension. Not every UK pensioner gets one. You can get an S1 if (a) if you have no pension rights in the country where you live and (b) the UK was the last country where you worked prior to retirement.
That's the most significant thing I've read on the 2 forums I'm on - does that mean that I have to come back to the UK for a couple of months at 66 and work in a petrol station or something similar to get an S1 !
(quite like the idea - was one of my first jobs!)

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