I have read some relevant posts here, but I still didn't extract a clear answer pertinent to my situation. I'm a Canadian citizen, I have a residence permit in France. Now, I have a job offer from Spain, where I'll be able to work three days a week remotely, and two days a week I'll need to be on the site. The job site is in Barcelona, so I've been thinking about the possibility of living in a French town close to the Spanish border and commute two times a week (I wouldn't even lose much time if I took the train, because I could use my laptop en route). So I would get a work permit in Spain and still have my French residence permit. If I do not reside in France sufficiently long, I'll lose my residence permit here.

After reading related questions, I got the impression that cross-border commuting for work is not a simple private matter, but is likely something that the employer would need to know about for tax reasons. (This being said, the taxes in France (for my tax bracket at least) are lower than in Spain.) Moreover, I've read that for some employers cross-border commuting of an employee may be an issue sufficiently complicated to not want to work with such an employee.

Is this all true? Isn't it just a matter of letting the accounting department know that I live in France and would thus pay the taxes in France, so that they wouldn't automatically deduct the taxes from my paycheck; or am I missing something? Or will I be subject to some sort of double taxation? In this case, I guess, the employer wouldn't care where I lived.


1 Answer 1


Your company will only be able to offer you working from France if they have legal entity/presence there and, if they don't you should be probably hired as a contractor/sole entrepreneur and do your taxes yourself. From personal experience, companies in Spain which offer full remote/hybrid working mode (with few office days required) are normally limit their offer to Spain only (anywhere from the Spain), as allowing anyone work from anywhere exposes company to excessive range of risks and complications (inadvertent tax, labor safety and other laws violation, etc.). I assume for a really unique/valuable employee some exceptional/individual arrangement can be made but, once again, simplest way of handling this for a company which doesn't have legal presence in your country of residence is to hire you as a contractor (which may imply you to registering as a sole entrepreneur in France).

I'm not sure all the possible work/residence permit complications of your specific case, but tax wise you will be a tax resident of a country in which you spend more than 6 months - so you will need to pay taxes in a place where you spend most of your time.

  • 1
    There are two issues here: remote working, and cross-border commuting. Probably the real issue is living abroad and it makes no difference whether the OP is working remotely full time or commuting daily?
    – gerrit
    Aug 17, 2022 at 8:06
  • To me companies do not care about cross-border commute, but they do care about tax residence and place from which you do your work (which country at least) - despite all the hype around working from anywhere company still has some responsibilities for work safety so they will want to know at least which country you are in (norms/laws applied) if you are direct hire and not a contractor.
    – Mike
    Aug 17, 2022 at 8:10
  • @Mikhail several EU countries have cross-border commuting agreements that simplify the tax regime. I don't know whether Spain and France have such an agreement nor, if so, whether Barcelona is close enough to the border to qualify, nor do I know what any of these agreements say about remote working from the country of residence.
    – phoog
    Aug 17, 2022 at 15:00

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