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Can I (Legally) Work Remotely in France?


“Can I Work Remotely in France?”

Implied on this query is the adverb “legally” since, in fact, anybody can open a laptop computer anyplace in France and work remotely.

However if you happen to pose this query in a Fb or Telegram group, or on a discussion board, or within the feedback part of an article, be ready to listen to very spirited defenses of each “Sure” and “No” solutions. And though I very a lot weigh in on the “Sure” reply to this query, I totally perceive why the “No” individuals are adamant.

picture credit score: Yan Krukov / Pexels

On the coronary heart of this query is actually a problem of taxation, which is an enormous deal in France.

Your tax information are an essential a part of varied functions you’ll have right here in France, notably for citizenship.

You’re required to file taxes so long as you’re a resident of France. Even if you happen to’re not resident in France, you’ll need to file taxes in case you are incomes any form of earnings in France. This most frequently applies to those that personal rental property right here.

Submitting taxes, in fact, is totally different from paying taxes. You solely pay taxes if in case you have taxable earnings, and there are particular insurance policies and exclusions that may scale back that quantity for any given particular person.

What’s essential for any tax authorities that come knocking is a story. It is advisable seek the advice of with an accountant and probably an legal professional by yourself explicit scenario, however in the case of France and plenty of different nations on the earth, the distant work query was clearly by no means anticipated in present legislation and doesn’t look to be a very powerful difficulty to be resolved because the world recovers from Covid-19 and is heading into an vitality disaster centered in Europe however that might be felt across the globe.

Right here’s a situation.

I’m an American businessman taking my household to Paris for a week-long trip. Whereas there I take two hours of enterprise calls every day, that are billable hours to his shopper.

The “No” folks would argue that I’ve now “labored in France” illegally.

Remote working at a cafe

Right here’s one other.

A South African businesswoman has a Chilean-based enterprise however does a consulting name with somebody dwelling in Marseille.

The “No” folks would argue that this South African entrepreneur has now “labored in France” illegally.

The legal guidelines on the books by no means anticipated that “work” may very well be one thing digital and that billable conversations may very well be occurring between nations, a lot much less continents.

In each of those instances, the nation the place the enterprise is domiciled can simply be thought-about the place the place the enterprise occurred, and any earnings derived from these nations will must be reported by the person incomes that earnings in these nations. Some might select to assemble or construe it one other method, however that’s as much as them.

On no account can these be construed as slam-dunk “working in France” situations.

However let’s transfer from these hypothetical conditions to what I’ve witnessed as I’ve helped lots of of individuals get their visas to return to France through the years: the French authorities, each earlier than and after 2020, has constantly accredited Lengthy Time period Keep Customer Visas during which the “proof of earnings” the applicant introduced got here within the type of a letter from an employer who acknowledged that his/her worker could be working remotely.

So, no less than so far as the visa-granting portion of the French authorities is anxious, it’s completely authorized to work remotely in France.

The identical can also be true for actual property. Should you personal actual property in France, you’re allowed to earn earnings from that actual property, even if you happen to don’t stay within the nation. However you should declare that earnings to the French authorities.

US-based distant employees will find yourself declaring their US earnings to the French, albeit in an oblique method. While you file your taxes in France, as I’ve for nearly a decade now, there’s a line merchandise for worldwide earnings, which in my case, is often additionally derived from the US. If I have been a distant employee, my earnings would have originated there and I’d have paid taxes in that jurisdiction.

Remote working in the post-pandemic world

Based on the “no distant working in France” crowd, the a part of the French authorities that points visas to those that are overtly stating their intent to work in France, the French authorities is mistaken.

Now, to be clear, that is attainable. It may very well be that totally different departments of the federal government are in battle with one another on coverage and {that a} future ruling will make clear this difficulty. It wouldn’t be the primary time that this occurred in a authorities, French or in any other case.

However for the second, not solely are you able to legally work remotely in France, you possibly can even inform the French authorities you propose to take action.



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