Essential tips for moving to France

Written by on July 15, 2020 in Financial, Living in France

Roses growing around a door, shutters on a window, typically French style

You find your dream home in France, you can’t wait to move there and start living the good life but there are a few things you need to do first. You’ll need to fill in paperwork and notify authorities in the UK and France, sort out healthcare, maybe inheritance planning, savings, tax and whole host of fun things.

We asked Jennie Poate of Beacon Global Wealth to give us some top tips to help those planning on moving to France when they can…

Before you leave the UK

Before you leave the UK, check this list to see what needs to be done:

Get form P85 from Revenue and Customs, fill it in and return it. It notifies the tax authorities that you are leaving the country and helps ensure that you’ll be taxed appropriately.

If you’re retired, request an S1 Form. Details:

Set up a mail redirection if you know where you’ll be living in France. Or have mail sent to an address in the UK that can forward mail on to you in a batch.

Inform your local GP and dentist that you are leaving so they can take you off their books.

Pensions and investments

Request a State pension forecast:  if you’re going to live in France long-term or forever and may not return to the UK before you become eligible for your pension.

Notify the Pension Service of your new address so they’ll know how to contact you.

Notify your personal or company pension trustees of your new address.

You can keep your UK investments in the UK, but they will now be taxable in France. Notify administrators of your new address. If you would like to know how your UK pension(s) will be treated in France and the tax efficient alternatives for your savings/investments as a French tax resident Jennie is happy to offer a free consultation.

Utilities, insurance, taxes and a will

Let your utility providers and local authority know you’re leaving and ask for final bills.

If you’re keeping your home in Britain and renting it out, you should inform your insurance company as your existing policy may not cover you for home rental.

If you’re still paying a mortgage on the property, you should let your mortgage provider know.

Your UK rental Income will remain taxable in the UK but must be declared on your French tax return. As there is a dual tax arrangement between the UK and France, it won’t be taxed twice (Brexit should not impact this arrangement)

Make a Will. If you already have one, deposit a copy with a Notaire in France.

When you move to France

On the French side, get your paperwork in order. You’ll need to have a number of original documents – and take copies of everything. What you need depends on whether you’re retiring or working either as self-employed or for a company.

Essential documents may include:

Birth certificate, marriage certificate, Tax returns (for two years), 12 months of bank statements, certificates of professional qualification (if setting up a business), driving licence.

Some documents may need to be translated by an official translator.

Bank account and healthcare

Open a bank account in France. It is increasingly difficult to pay for things without one if you live in France. Most utilities are now paid online or by cheque. You can open a non-resident account before you leave the UK and notify the bank to change it to a resident account when you arrive.

Sort out health care in France. For the first few months you can still use your EHIC (pre-Brexit, post Brexit has not been confirmed). Or sort out private healthcare. If you’re retired, your S1 Form currently enables you to claim back your healthcare costs (pre-Brexit).

The French healthcare system has a great reputation but you may need to top up with private health insurance. This is normal, the majority of French people take out top up insurance. You should return your British EHIC card (if relevant) and apply for your Carte Vitale. You will need to take this with you to all medical appointments in France.

Apply to the local CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie) for healthcare cover. Applicaton depends on your status eg retired, salaried worker, self-employed. Details:

Register your car and kids for school

If you take your UK registered car with you, you’ll need to register it in France. There is currently a huge backlog to process applications. You’ll need to have various documents and make an application online at:

If you’ve got kids, you’ll need to register them for school.

Residence Permit

There is constantly updated information on the UK Government website about applying for a residence permit when the transition period for the UK leaving the European Union is due to end on 31 December 2020. Details:

Jennie Poate is a UK expat who has lived in France for several years and is a qualified financial advisor who has helped many expats to organise their finances and tax in France.

Schedule your free no obligation consultation to find out if Jennie and her team at Beacon Global Wealth can help you.

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