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Here's my situation. Currently I am an expatriate in France doing a PhD and so receiving a salary in France.

As part of a project I will go for 3 months in another country (non-EU) and I will leave my current residence, so I will not have anymore an address in France. Note that I will still receive a salary from France in this period and I will not be paid by the destination country.

The goal is to come back, stay at my friend's place and look for a new apartment once I'm back. I am not sure when I will be back. It could vary between 20 December and 15 January.

Next year, as I've done this year, I will have to specify where I was resident on the 1st of January in the tax declaration (in order to compute the Taxe d'habitation I guess).

So the questions that now arise are the following:

  • If my friend is hosting me and I specify his address, would he have consequences in the computation of his taxes (i.e., increase or decrease)? (scenario 1 - back before the 1st of January)
  • Which address should I specify if the 1st of January I was abroad without an accommodation? In France? (scenario 2 - back after the 1st of January)
  • Do you have a french bank account for the french salary ? Do you intend to close that account during that period in another country ? If not, what address will you use with the bank ? – audionuma Sep 11 '17 at 16:09
  • Yes I have it. I will not close it and I guess I will put as an address the address of my friend. – abc Sep 11 '17 at 16:51
  • that might be a clue that you actually have an address in France ... – audionuma Sep 12 '17 at 6:35
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It's unlikely to change the amount of the taxe d'habitation. The tax is always due for the whole year (no prorata) and does not depend on the number of people living in a dwelling (there are some tax rebates for families but you're not related to your friend and have independent income). The only scenario in which it could increase what he has to pay is if he is getting a rebate based on his income. And if you're not in France on the 1st of January, you obviously don't have to pay any taxe d'habitation either.

Where things get a little confusing is that, having resided out of France for some time, you are supposed to use two different forms to file your tax return. And one of them is the regular form (or website?), which is obviously not designed for this situation and assumes you had an address in France on January 1st. I would just cross it and write something like "NA" or write a foreign address anyway (even though it doesn't really fit the fields on the form).

Note that this answer is based on the current rules but the new president announced a plan to change this tax in 2018. There isn't a whole lot of time left but all this might still change before your return.

  • I don't agree with you. As mentioned in my answer, if their friend is low income it might make home lose on a rebate off the taxe d'habitation. Also I'm pretty sure OP will not be considered a fiscal expatriate for a work related mission while retaining French salary. So no double declaration. – justt Sep 11 '17 at 2:34
  • @justt This rebate is very restrictive and optional but you're right that it could in principle have an effect, I will add a reference to that. – Gala Sep 11 '17 at 8:28
  • @justt For the rest, I don't see how he could be considered a resident without a home and an address in France. As far as France is concerned, he would probably be fine with filling just the domestic form (as the main reason to bother with not being a resident is to avoid liabilities on income sourced abroad, the tax office gains nothing) but if you want to do it by the book, the two forms seem required. – Gala Sep 11 '17 at 8:31
  • I'm positive they will be a resident for both years, because these things are considered on a fiscal year basis. They will be living in France more than 6 months each FY, and will have a work contract in France throughout. – justt Sep 14 '17 at 8:21
  • See bofip.impots.gouv.fr/bofip/1911-PGP for a definition of French fiscal residency. – justt Sep 14 '17 at 8:22
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This doesn't directly address what you ask, but another possibility would be to subrent your apartment for those three months. This has the following advantages:

1) You keep your address, so there's no problem with the tax authorities.

2) After you come back you don't have to search for a new apartment.

3) You don't cause any difficulties to your friend.

4) If you manage to rent it for a bit more than what you currently pay, you might even make a few € :)

However, there are also a few things you need to consider. First, check if subrenting is allowed in your region and by your contract. Second, you will have to declare the rent you receive as income.

  • 1
    Thank you for the reply. I did not consider this option since I wanted to change my apartment anyway. So I've planned my departure with the end of the contract. Moreover, by contract this is not allowed and I would be responsible for possible damages since I cannot provide a contract to my substitute (i.e., the unique option would be "undeclared rent" and I don't like it as an option). – abc Sep 9 '17 at 10:43
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I don't think you should worry and the best thing to do would be to ask the tax office at the time of declaration which is not before when you are back.

Anyway my answer is the following: Based on what you say, you will stay a French resident in both fiscal years. So you will file your taxes as usual (no double declaration at any point). I advise that on your 2018 declaration (for 2017 income) you say that you have moved in 2017. In the "address on January 1st 2017" field put your foreign address (plus maybe a bit of explanation in the "renseignements complémentaires section") or your friend's address if you are positive it will not make him lose an exemption of taxes d'habitation for low income : https://www.impots.gouv.fr/portail/particulier/questions/jheberge-quelquun-chez-moi-ma-taxe-dhabitation-va-t-elle-augmenter In which case you could put the address of some other friend who is richer.

Also there is a section "I have moved in 2018" where you will put your new French address.

  • It does not solve the main question, namely what to put in the “address on 1st of January”. – Gala Sep 11 '17 at 8:32
  • It does, the field "address on January 1st" is the same as "I have moved in 2017". – justt Sep 14 '17 at 8:09
  • Where? Certainly not on the paper form (as I have been moving in and out of France, I have only use that one and haven't had the occasion to submit online personally). Either way, you ought to clarify that in your answer. As it stands, it just reads as if it's addressing a bunch of other related questions, just not the one asked by the OP. – Gala Sep 14 '17 at 10:32
  • You're right about that, edited. – justt Sep 15 '17 at 15:06

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