Use the tax structures in France to their full potential
This is my first article of 2014, so Happy New Year everybody. Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear. (John Lennon, 1971)
I’m feeling a bit ‘wordy’ this week, so I thought it might be a good idea to use someone else’s instead of my own (perhaps I should do that more often). I saw this very interesting quote whilst browsing the net over the Christmas break:
‘If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century’ – Barack Obama, 2013
OK, before we start to discuss this in context, there will be many of you I’m sure who will be up in arms shouting ‘That isn’t an Obama quote, that was written by Derek Bok of Harvard University’ Wrong. Actually it started life as part of a newspaper article in New York in 1913, but that’s another story. Barack Obama most definitely did say this in 2013. He didn’t have UK expats living in France in mind at the time, I’m sure, but I’m not going to let that stop me hijacking his words to my own ends.
The fairly obvious point here is that ignorance is not bliss; in fact it can be painfully expensive, and that does apply to UK expats living in France. The plain and simple truth is that unless you take steps to understand and use the tax structures in France to their full potential, the resulting tax bill to you, or your children or any other intended beneficiaries can be amazingly high. The French would never fall into these traps, so why should we? The answer is ignorance, laced with a liberal dose of laissez-faire.
Education is where I come in. I can teach you how to navigate the minefield that occupies the territory between the UK and French tax systems. I can show you how to structure your investments to ensure you enjoy maximum tax efficiency. All that means is making sure that you pay all the tax you have to pay, but not a centime more. Tax evasion is a fools game; the real deal is to make sure that you’re not paying more than your fair share of tax.
This can mean spending some pounds or Euro along the way. Very often you will need to invest via an insurance based tax wrapper. I know we’re verging on the technical here, but I can explain to you how it all works. You may well need the wrapper. It costs money but it can repay you many times over; possibly scores or hundreds of times over. It also treats everybody fairly, as the cost is on a percentage basis. Think of it this way, if you own a fleet of vintage cars you’ll need an impressive amount of garage space to protect them from the weather and all other manner of risk. If all you have is a motorbike, a garden shed will do the job. It doesn’t matter whether you have £20,000 or £20,000,000 to invested in the UK or sitting around in bank accounts anywhere. Every one of these pounds or Euro has the right to be protected from tax and given a fair chance to grow to as great a degree as possible.
And while we’re on a ‘quote’ theme, here’s another one for you:
‘It’s almost impossible to verify quotes found on the internet’ – William Shakespeare
A real forward thinker our Bill, obviously. My interpretation of what he (or whoever did write it) means is that you should under no circumstanced take what you read on the net for gospel. Just as you should not rely on your neighbour who ‘knows about these things’ or that nice couple you met at a dinner party last week. Place your trust in people who are professionals; registered and regulated here in France.
PS: As I’m putting the finishing touches to this I’ve just seen a rival newsletter from that small rotund Norman person, and blow me down, Mary T is quoting from the same John Lennon song. Shows we must be on the same wavelength I suppose, and there’s room for everyone. Happy New Year!