Your place of residence is the basis of any tax, investment and income planning. This point needs to be clear to know where to start.
There is a constant and complete confusion on defining the place of residence as, even though the rules governing residence are relatively clear, different interpretations are found within administrations.
If there is any doubt as to your place of residence, or if you could be considered resident of two countries, it is the provisions of the convention for the avoidance of double taxation which prevails.
Let’s take the example of the UK: article 3 of the Double Tax Treaty attempts to clarify the position.
The first criterion is “where is your home?”. Your home is considered to be the country where you have the closest “personal and economic links”, but this can still cause some doubt. In accordance with the judgement of a court case, a business man who spent very little time in France but had his family living and going to school in France, was considered as a resident of France.
Now, if you own a property in the UK (which is not rented out), which is thus considered as a “home”, the second criterion is “where do you spend most of your time?”. If you spend a similar amount of time between the two countries and none of the other criteria are conclusive, then it is the country of your nationality which will have the right to claim your residence. In general, therefore, the authorities are trying to work out in which country you are “based”, even if you travel considerably.
You are considered as resident upon your declaration of arrival to the French authorities: it is not the real date of your arrival which counts since no border controls exist.
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