FRENCH PROPERTY & BREXIT

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INTRODUCTION

  • As we all now know, the United Kingdom finally left the European Union officially on the last day of 2020, the 31st December. For those of you that live in the United Kingdom, this separation will indeed have a direct impact on how you continue to enjoy your holiday home here in France.
  • ICE Finance has put together on this page some important points that you should be aware of.
  • • In the meantime, COVID-19 unfortunately means that certain travel restrictions are in place between the UK and France. As these travel restrictions can change frequently we invite you to check the UK Government website for the latest updates (relevant as at the date of this article)

VISA

  • United Kingdom passport holders who will be spending less than 90 days out of every 180 days here in France do not need a visa. If you wanted to, you can spend 180 days a year in your holiday home, but you would have to split this into 2 separate blocks of 90 days.
  • Important to know: this limit covers the whole of the European Union (EU) so you cannot spend additional time in say Spain, Portugal, Italy or other EU countries.
  • If you seek to spend longer than 90 days then you will be required to obtain a ‘ Long Stay ‘ visa. Many different types exist currently but as a holiday home owner you will probably apply for a ‘ Visa de Long Sejour Temporaire Visiteur ‘. Details in English are available directly from the French Government website
  • https://brexit.gouv.fr/sites/brexit/accueil/vous-etes-britannique-en/droit-au-sejour-en.html

TRAVEL

  • UK passport holders will no longer be able to use the EU passport queue at customs control – this applies at Airports, Ferry Ports, Train Stations and the Eurotunnel crossing.
  • Be warned : UK passports which have less than 6 months until their expiry date are no longer valid for travel to France.
  • You can continue to use your UK issued Driving licence, but you will ned to apply for a Green Card form your car insurance company.
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HEALTH CARE

    • As with all overseas travel, it is extremely important that you have suitable health insurance in place, or you may end up with a large medical bill to pay.
    • The UK Government has indicated that UK citizens can use their current EHIC card until it expires. If you do not hold an EHIC card you can apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) – issued free of charge.
    • This card will allow you access to the French state provided healthcare system.

PETS

    • The latest UK Government advice is available online. You can still bring pets to France but you will need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) which confirms that your pet is micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies.
    • You can get the AHC certificate form your local vet.
    • Please note that you will need a new certificate for each time you travel to France

BUYING PROPERTY

    • Great news – the buying process has not changed at all for UK residents!
    • ICE Finance can take through the steps to get the finance to buy a new piece of your own France !

FRENCH CAPITAL GAINS TAX

    • As a result of Brexit, the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union, meaning that UK tax residents will no longer benefit from the status of EU citizens. This will mean that UK tax residents who now sell property in France will be subject to the following two points:
    • Firstly, the tax rate at which French CGT (plus value) will be applied on any profit made is now higher than before. As is the case with other non-EU countries (pays tiers) the CGT rate will increase to 36.2% (made up of 19% in income tax and 17.2% for French social charges).
    • Exemptions are allowable, such as the number of years of ownership.
    • • Note that the additional French tax of 2 – 6 % on any “profit” greater than 50 000€ will no doubt still apply.
    • Secondly, for any sale where the seller receives over 150 000€, a fiscal representative will need to be appointed. This is obligatory even if there is no CGT to pay. This is a direct cost to the seller (typically 1% of the sale price) which can be offset if there is CGT to pay.
    • ICE Finance is registered as an accredited specialised company able to work in conjunction with your Notaire in order to meet your legal tax obligations with regards to the French Tax Office.
    • Please contact us for more information.