Monday, August 10, 2015

When does my property become my principal home?

If you decide to move to France and live permanently you should ensure that your French property is classified as your 'main and principal home' - if only to avoid paying capital gains tax if you decide to sell.

By declaring your presence and completing an annual French tax return, your new home will normally be accepted as your principal place of residence within 12 months of occupation. Any additional checks - for example, if you decided to sell within a few months of your arrival - might include checking electricity and water consumption, possession of a French driving licence and a 'Carte Vitale' which provides access to the French healthcare system.

French tax returns cover the period January to December and are issued in March/April for completion by the end of May/June. In your first year of arrival you should obtain the necessary forms from your local tax office (or perhaps the Mairie) and in future years they will be automatically sent to your French address. They can also be completed and submitted on-line.