How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask bigduckontax Your Own Question
bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: UK Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4203
Type Your UK Tax Question Here...
bigduckontax is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Two years ago I started renting a flat in France near

Customer Question

Two years ago I started renting a flat in France near Geneva. I was then working for a UK company on the PAYE system. I had, and still have a residence in the UK. The flat in France was effectivelt a second home and my wife and I spent about three to four months of the year there.
In November last year I began employment for a company based in Geneva. As I already had the flat in France, and as I assumed I would live there more regularly, I gave that address to my company to set up my work permit. I am currently taxed in Geneva and have a work permit using my French address.
Unfortunately, due to a number of complex circumstances we never quite 'moved' to France in the permanent sense. Therefore, in the last 12 months I have probably spent >6 months in the UK and <3 months in France. The rest of the time I have been travelling for work.
At no point have I personally, and formally contacted either HMRC or the French 'tax man'. It has been a case of each month thinking "next month I'll be in France and then I can notify them". The fact is that I am now in a situation where I am certainly considered for tax in the UK, I pay tax in Geneva, however it is then somehow sent to france under the 'frontalier' agreement.
I have no idea where I send a tax return, where I am and am not considered 'resident'. I'm in a mess! It is even more complex as my employment means I am travelling anywhere in the world 4-6 months of the year!
In summary:
I travel 4-6 months a year for work. I spend more time in the UK than France. I am employed in Geneva. I have not done anything official about any of this.
Could any of you please point me in the right direction or maybe clarify where I stand?
Thank you so much!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.

If you spend more than 183 days in the UK in any one tax year then you are liable for UK taxation on your world wide income and should make a self assessment return to HMRC. The tax you pay in Geneva is, under the Double Taxation Treaty between the UK and Switzerland which preludes the same income stream being taxed in both jurisdictions, allowable as a tax credit against any UK taxation. The Treaty does not, however, protect you from differences in rates of taxation.

As regards ***** ***** taxation I cannot help you save in very general terms. France has five times as many tax inspectors per head of population than the UK and their systems and rates are constantly changing so you must engage local assistance. Fortunately the UK has a Double Taxation Treaty with France too, so the tax credit system will still apply.

I do hope that I have shed some light on your position for you and shown you the way forward. It's actually very simple, you submit returns to HMRC.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Kieth,Is that really the case? I have hears so many different points of view.I have been told that depending on the 'ties' to the UK then it could be as few as 90 or 45 days before becoming liable.As far as I know (some of) the tax paid in in Geneva has 'already gone to the French'. If this is the case how do I persuade the French to give it to the UK and how do I persuade them that I'm UK resident?But by the sound of it I need to do a tax return in three countries and let them all fight for it between themselves. Is my understanding correct?Does you know of anyone who is also specialised in either the French or Swiss system too?Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately I think that my situation requires the knowledge of someone who is familiar with at least two and ideally all three of the tax systems. I do appreciate your advice on my UK position as you see it but I think taking advice about the UK without knowing implications in the other two countries may be a little risky. I think I will wait and see if there is anyone with a knowledge of the three systems before I make any commitments one way or the other.Thanks again.
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.

The 90 day rule applies to someone who is non resident in the UK. The tenor of your original question indicated that you would exceed the 183 day rule and thus your whole income liable to UK taxation. If you have left the UK permanently then you should send a Form P85 to HMRC. Fortunately there is no time limit as to its submission, it is available on the web and can be filed on line. On receipt HMRC will make you non resident for the tax year following your date of departure and furthermore split the year od leaving into two portions, one resident and the other non resident. Once classed as non resident you may spend 91 days in the UK in any one tax yesr. In theory the 91 days can be averaged over four years, but the general consensus amongst exerts on Just Answer is never to exceed the magic 91 days.

I have already told you that the complexities of the French tax system makes the use of local professionals essential to look after your French tax affairs. What the Swiss are doing sending 'it to the French' you must take up with them.