Non-residents of France
Please note: If you live outside France, always check with the local tax authority to find out if you have filing and/or payment obligations in your country of residence, even if you pay taxes in France.
In some cases, depending on the applicable tax treaty (available on impots.gouv.fr), income or interest must be declared both in France and in your country of residence.
Non-resident for tax purposes
Residency for tax purposes is determined for each member of a household. If you are married or in a civil partnership, you may be considered a resident of France for tax purposes even if your spouse or partner is considered a non-resident.
If you continue to have income from French sources after moving away from France, you must determine if your residence for tax purposes is still in France.
Determining if your tax residence is in France
International tax treaties take precedence
To determine your residence for tax purposes, international tax treaties executed between countries establish criteria that take precedence over national legislation. These criteria may vary depending on the tax treaty; therefore, please refer to the tax treaty that is applicable to your specific situation.
If there is no tax treaty between the two countries in question, then each country’s national legislation applies.
Under French law
Unless international tax treaties state otherwise, you are considered to be a resident of France for tax purposes if you fulfil one or more of the following criteria :
Your household (including your spouse, civil partner and/or children) remains in France, even if you are living temporarily or for most of the year in another country for professional reasons. If you have no household, then your tax residence is defined as where you have your main abode.
You have a professional activity in France, as an employee or otherwise, unless this activity is secondary.
The centre of your economic interests is in France. In other words, France is the location of your main investments, your place of business, the location of your professional activities, or the source of the majority of your income.
For more details, refer to "Bulletin Officiel des Impôts" (BOI-IR-CHAMP-10).
Nevertheless, applying each country's national legislation can result in your being considered a tax resident of several different countries. In such cases, in order to determine a single residence for tax purposes, please refer to the tax treaty applicable to your specific situation.
Tax implications of being considered a non-resident of France for tax purposes
If you are a non-resident of France for tax purposes, your tax obligations are limited to your income from French sources which is taxable in France subject to tax treaties.
Income from French sources is listed in Article 164 B of the French General Tax Code. This covers, inter alia, property income, dividends, income from salaried or non-salaried professional activities carried on in France, capital gains and pensions when the debtor is based in France.
In addition, to help with your procedures, 36 factsheets on the main income from French sources to be declared by country are available on impots.gouv.fr in the section: International > An individual > “I am not a resident of France but I have interests in France”/“ I’m non-resident. What are the main elements of income to be reported?”
Specific case: If you are an employee of the central government, a local authority or a public hospital, please refer to the page devoted to your situation on the impots.gouv.fr website: Tax treatment for employees of the central government, local authorities and public hospitals
Couples with mixed residency status
Residency for tax purposes in France and the status of French resident are determined for each member of the household.
If you are married or in a civil partnership, and one of you lives abroad and the other in France, then you are a “couple with mixed residency status”. You may be considered a resident of France for tax purposes even if your spouse or partner is considered a non-resident. You will be subject to different tax treatment.
If you are both French residents for tax purposes (refer to the definition of French resident for tax purposes), then you are taxable in France for all your income, including the pay you receive for your activity abroad. In this case, you must file your income tax return with the tax office with jurisdiction over your household.
If one of you is a French resident for tax purposes and the other is not under the terms of a tax treaty, and if you are married or in a civil partnership under a joint property regime, you must declare :
All the income of the spouse or partner resident in France, and of the children or dependants residing in France for tax purposes
The income from French sources of the non-resident spouse or partner, provided that the tax treaty grants France the right to tax this income
NB : Income from foreign sources of the non-resident individual is excluded from the tax base and is not included when applying the so-called “effective tax rate” rule. Non-resident members of the tax household are included for income splitting purposes.
If one of you is a French resident for tax purposes and the other is not under the terms of a tax treaty, and if you are married (or in a civil partnership) under a separation-of-property regime and you are living separately
Then each of you must file an income tax return with the tax office with jurisdiction over your main residence (for the resident) and with the Individual Tax Department for Non-Residents (for the non-resident).
Two tax notices will be established, and each member of the couple will be taxed accordingly as a resident or a non-resident.
NB : The year after moving away from France, the spouse or civil partner who has become a non-resident must file an income tax return with the tax office with jurisdiction over their former main residence and must indicate whether they continue to receive income from French sources that is taxable in France under the terms of an international tax treaty. In this case alone, the competent tax office will be the Individual Tax Department for Non-Residents, and the taxpayer’s file will be transferred to this tax office the year following the departure with the taxpayer only having to indicate that they have left France and continue to receive income from French sources.
UPDATED DINR PART MAY 9, 2023