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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 wherever 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 regardless that I very a lot weigh in on the “Sure” reply to this query, I totally perceive why the “No” persons are adamant.

picture credit score: Yan Krukov / Pexels

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

Your tax data are an essential a part of varied purposes you’ll have right here in France, significantly 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 have to to file taxes if you’re incomes any form of revenue 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 when you have taxable revenue, and there are particular insurance policies and exclusions that may cut back that quantity for any given particular person.

What’s essential for any tax authorities that come knocking is a story. It’s essential to seek the advice of with an accountant and presumably an lawyer by yourself specific state of affairs, however in the case of France and lots of different international locations on this planet, the distant work query was clearly by no means anticipated in present regulation and doesn’t look to be crucial problem to be resolved because the world recovers from Covid-19 and is heading into an power disaster centered in Europe however that shall be felt across the globe.

Right here’s a state of affairs.

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 consumer.

The “No” individuals 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 residing in Marseille.

The “No” individuals 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” might be one thing digital and that billable conversations might be occurring between international locations, 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 passed off, and any revenue derived from these international locations will must be reported by the person incomes that revenue in these international locations. Some might select to assemble or construe it one other method, however that’s as much as them.

By no means 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 over time: the French authorities, each earlier than and after 2020, has constantly permitted Lengthy Time period Keep Customer Visas wherein the “proof of revenue” the applicant introduced got here within the type of a letter from an employer who said that his/her worker can be working remotely.

So, not less than so far as the visa-granting portion of the French authorities is worried, it’s completely authorized to work remotely in France.

The identical can also be true for actual property. In case you personal actual property in France, you’re allowed to earn revenue from that actual property, even if you happen to don’t dwell within the nation. However you have to declare that revenue to the French authorities.

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

Remote working in the post-pandemic world

In keeping with the “no distant working in France” crowd, the a part of the French authorities that points visas to those that are brazenly stating their intent to work in France, the French authorities is fallacious.

Now, to be clear, that is potential. It might 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 problem. 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 intend to take action.

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