“Can I Work Remotely in France?”

Implied on this query is the adverb “legally” since, after all, 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 regardless that I very a lot weigh in on the “Sure” reply to this query, I absolutely perceive why the “No” individuals are adamant.

photograph credit score: Yan Krukov / Pexels

On the coronary heart of this query is absolutely a difficulty of taxation, which is a giant deal in France.

Your tax information are an necessary 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’ll need 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, after all, is totally different from paying taxes. You solely pay taxes when you’ve got taxable revenue, and there are specific insurance policies and exclusions that may cut back that quantity for any given particular person.

What’s necessary for any tax authorities that come knocking is a story. You might want to consult with an accountant and probably an lawyer by yourself specific state of affairs, however in the case of France and lots of different nations on this planet, the distant work query was clearly by no means anticipated in present regulation and doesn’t look to be crucial challenge to be resolved because the world recovers from Covid-19 and is heading into an power disaster centered in Europe however that will probably 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 shopper.

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 dwelling 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” could possibly be one thing digital and that billable conversations could possibly be occurring between nations, a lot much less continents.

In each of those circumstances, the nation the place the enterprise is domiciled can simply be thought of the place the place the enterprise occurred, and any revenue derived from these nations will should be reported by the person incomes that revenue in these nations. Some might select to assemble or construe it one other manner, 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 tons of of individuals get their visas to come back to France through the years: the French authorities, each earlier than and after 2020, has persistently accredited Lengthy Time period Keep Customer Visas by which the “proof of revenue” the applicant offered got here within the type of a letter from an employer who acknowledged that his/her worker could be working remotely.

So, at the least 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. When you personal actual property in France, you might be allowed to earn revenue from that actual property, even if you happen to don’t stay within the nation. However it’s essential 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 manner. Whenever 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 normally 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 response to 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 mistaken.

Now, to be clear, that is attainable. It could possibly 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 challenge. 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.