I know tax laws are country specific and in case of spouses living in two separate countries they may depend on the specific countries due to tax treaties so my question cannot be asked in all generality so I will make it specific to France and UK.

If I go to work in UK and my wife stays in France with our child how will it effect computation of taxes for both of us. I know in France for instance the taxes are computed using household units and in our case we count for 2.5 units. I know taxes in France will be due only on the French part of the income but will it be computed using 2.5 units or 1.5?

If the latter then the tax burden becomes much more for spouses that have different tax residency.

  • What's the counterfactual? If your incomes are roughly similar and you don't pay (French) taxes on yours, you might be paying less to the French tax office than if you were considering both incomes with a quotient familial of 2.5. And if the taxes you pay in the UK are lower (which they very well might be), you could be coming out on top overall.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 28, 2020 at 21:56
  • Of course, you would be paying more taxes than if you were living with your wife and not earning any income but that's a (questionable) feature of the system: it helps families with only one person earning an income (or with two very different incomes) and is less favourable to people living alone or double income earners, whether they reside together or not.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 28, 2020 at 22:00

1 Answer 1


I saw nothing about that in the relevant tax treaty but it seems that in general, the whole family is taken into account to compute the quotient familial:

Les personnes domiciliées fiscalement hors de France sont prises en compte pour la détermination du quotient familial.

This means you can in any case use 2.5 units to compute your wife's income tax rate. Regarding your taxes, there are situations under the UK-France tax treaty in which you could be taxable in France but I understand you already made a determination that this is not the case.

  • Thank you for you answer. My reading is getting me to the same conclusion as about the number of units. I had not seen the tax treaty issue between UK and France. To make matters more interesting I am an Indian citizen. I'll look into it.
    – FunkyPhyzz
    Jul 30, 2020 at 7:49

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