I'm French, I live in France and I'm considering applying for a remote job in a US company. Are there any legal issues that would prevent me to do so? How would the time spent working in a US company affect my future retirement plan? What about the things any French employer contributes to such as "la sécurité sociale"? Can I lose some benefits in France by paying my taxes to the US? Are there any tricky things I should know about this situation?

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    I don't know about France, but in the UK (most) income from overseas is liable for tax in the UK as this is where it is earned - I assume this will be a standard approach across the EU but a suitably qualified accountant should be able to advise.
    – Rick
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 10:02
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    @RockApe It's indeed quite common across Europe and elsewhere in the world but EU law is completely silent about this, it's still completely up to each member state.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 12:48
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    If you perform the work entirely in France (more precisely, entirely outside the US) and you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the US then the income is not taxable in the US.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


The whole situation is quite tricky. Hiring an employee in France comes with a bunch of obligations for the employer including contributions to the sécurité sociale and generally following local employment law, which is not trivial if you are not familiar with it. If the employer is not able to set up payroll in France then you would obviously lose employment-related benefits (retirement pension, healthcare, unemployment insurance) but that's only the beginning of your problems.

Being hired by a US company doesn't per se exempt you or your employer from any obligation — from taxes and mandatory contributions to working times and many other details of the working conditions. If you are in France, they still apply to you (otherwise many employers would set up a business in, say, Cyprus or Malta to sidestep French law entirely) as does income tax (unless you fall in a situation covered by a bilateral tax treaty).

Some employers offer to hire you as a contractor instead (thus offloading the administrative burden on you) but that's very questionable under French law if they actually treat you like an employee. Consequently, some remote-only businesses like Gitlab go through a local legal entity that can offer a bona fide employment contract but hiring in France seems to be paused at the moment.

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    Furthermore, in response to the question "can I lose some benefits in France by paying my taxes to the US," the income wouldn't be taxable in the US (as far as I understand it, and assuming that the employee is neither also a citizen nor a permanent resident of the US).
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 14:53

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