I'm planning to move to France but I will still be employed by a UK company. According to the HMRC website, my taxes will be payable in the UK but I read on an old forum that the French authorities may not be happy about it.

Anyone with a similar experience that can help? IS it true that the company should set up payroll in France? We also have offices in Switzerland and Luxemburg, would it be easier to be employed there?

1 Answer 1


Since 2009, France and the UK have a double taxation treaty (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/france-tax-treaties)

So, you have to pay your yearly tax in the country you spend at least 183 days (half the year+1). Then, you can deduct what you've paid in the other country with the double taxation treaty.

I am familiar with this situation concerning Spain (residence and country of nationality) and the UK and it works fine. However, my yearly income tax is revised thoroughly to see if I made the tiniest mistake. I guess this is the "French authorities may not be happy about it" you read about.

France has similar double taxation treaties with Switzerland and Luxemburg. The last one will remain a member of the EU, but I don't think it changes so much because I had to ask for the refund of taxes here pre-Brexit and I had to prove everything and follow all the steps very carefully.

  • What about health insurance/mandatory contributions to the social security system? That's as big an issue, if not bigger, than income tax per se.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 13, 2020 at 6:43
  • I notice that the website you linked to mentions that this is “For use by residents of France receiving pensions, purchased annuities, interest or royalties arising in the UK.” That's a typical use case for these tax treaties and relatively straightforward but it doesn't cover wages. The problem with remote work is that it could be used to circumvent many other rules (from health insurance to working time and holidays).
    – Relaxed
    Jul 13, 2020 at 6:47
  • @Relaxed For the taxes covered, check article 2 here: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/…. And I'm sorry I didn't link the right form to get your taxes deducted, I'm more familiar with the Spanish form in which you calculate your taxes and at the same time you can ask for the deduction from the UK. I'll delete that. Jul 13, 2020 at 6:51
  • 1
    Thanks for the link. Sorry, my comment wasn't clear, the issue is not so much which taxes are covered but the fact that working involves much more than taxes. As expected, the tax treaty doesn't cover mandatory payroll contributions to health insurance and social security. I suspect that's why the summary mentions “pensions, purchased annuities, interest or royalties” but not wages as the treaty wasn't designed to deal with remote work. I was wondering whether you had experience with that specific situation and how tax-like mandatory contributions are handled.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 13, 2020 at 7:01
  • @Relaxed As you said, you pay the contributions to the social security of the country you work for (UK in the case of the OP) and you can deduct that amount in the yearly tax income (in Spain, there was a limit, but it was very high). If you need to use medical services, you are billed but the amount is charged to the country you pay the national security. Jul 13, 2020 at 7:53

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