Less than 183 Days in France – am I a tax resident of France?
The 183 days rule applicable in France and openly popularized by the journalists often bring confusion!
Staying less than 183 days in France, enable individual inevitable escaping to French taxes? Bad news, it is not the case.
In light of the French tax laws and recent/last case law (CAA Lyon of March 30th, 2017 – n° 15LY04070 & Council of State July 16th, 1976, n° 12725), let us restore the truth on this famous 183 days myth.
Article 4 A/4 B of the General Tax Code defines the domicile for tax purposes by several criteria. Individuals are residents for tax purposes in France, if they meet any one of the following 3 criteria defining “tax residence”. The appreciation is done on a case-by-case basis according to the situation of each taxpayer.
Criteria of Family Home and Habitual abode:
- Criteria of Family Home is simple since it is the place where the individual and his family gather on a habitual basis in the year (existence of a family house, school of the children, spouse’s working place). It is only when the existence of a “family home” is not shown that the other criteria apply.
- The Place of habitual abode in France: The French tax authorities consider that if you remain more than 183 days during the same year, the above criteria is fulfilled. But this rule is purely practical. If you reside in 3 countries and that the country where you remain the most is France – even less than 183 days – then, your place of habitual abode is France. Conversely, if you remain more than 183 days in France, you will be automatically considered as a French tax resident. This criteria is difficult to determine if you do not have a house in France or if you have several houses in various countries. In this case, Tax authorities gather a “body of evidence” to determine if your place of habitual abode is or not located in France (payments carried out in France, Airplane tickets, phone calls).
Lastly, to escape French tax domiciliation, only proving that you stay less than 183 days in France is not admissible since you will also have to prove that to have spent more time in another country.
The other criteria
There are other criterion, such as the main place of professional activity and the center of the economic interests. If your income are primarily French source income, you are likely to be regarded as taxable in France on your worldwide income.
One must be vigilant and in the event of a conflict of residence, the tax Treaty between the 2 countries will apply to solve the problem. Our office can advise you in your personal tax matters and returns (IR and ISF). Feel free to contact us by e-mail, filling the form below or by phone : +33 (0)4 93 87 01 08