Your residence is the basis of any tax, investment and income planning. This point must be clear to know where to start.
There is ongoing confusion regarding the determination of the place of residence, because although the rules regarding residence are relatively clear, different interpretations are found within administrations.
When in doubt about domicile or whether one can be considered a resident of two countries, the provisions of the Double Taxation Convention prevail.
Let’s take the example of the UK: article 3 of the Double Tax Treaty tries to clarify the situation.
The first criterion is “where is your home?”. Your home is supposed to be the country where you have the closest “personal and economic ties”, but this may still rise some doubts. According to the ruling in a court case, a business man who spent very little time in France but had his family living and going to school in France, is considered as a resident of France.
Now, if you own a property in the UK (which is not rented out), which is thus considered a “home”, the second criterion is “where do you spend most of your time?”. If you spend roughly the same amount of time between the two countries and none of the other criteria is decisive, then the country of your nationality will have the right to claim your residence. Thus, in general, the authorities are trying to find out in which country you are “resident”, even if you travel a lot.
You are considered resident at the moment you declare your arrival to the French authorities: it is not the actual date of your arrival that counts, as there are no border controls.
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