SOS HELP Crisis line in English: Tel: 01 46 21 46 46
SOS Help is a telephone listening service for the English-speaking community in France. Trained listeners are available every day of the year from 3 pm to 11 pm. The service is confidential and anonymous. In addition to compassionate, non-directive listening, we can provide information on community services and community resources available to English-speaking callers. SOS Help is staffed by volunteer listeners; other volunteers are involved in community liaison, fund-raising and publicity. Volunteers are always welcome, and should contact the above telephone number to request further information about recruitment and training.

Personal finance issues For expats In France
France has a reputation as a high tax jurisdiction and while President Hollande was in power, some wealthy French nationals chose to move to the UK and Portugal, enticed by their fiscal sweeteners.  But France can be a tax efficient place to live for retirees, providing you understand the tax implications of your specific situation and obtain specialist expatriate tax advice.
Click here for tax advice

Elizabeth Finn Care, a UK-based registered charity (no. 207812), gives money to help people who have less than £4,000 in savings and, lacking enough household income, can only manage a bare hand-to-mouth existence. By giving just that little bit more money beyond state benefit provision, Elizabeth Finn Care enables people to pay for the things they vitally need, take charge of their lives once more, and plan for a future. We help people whose former careers have been interrupted or ended through circumstances beyond their control: physical or mental illness, redundancy, family breakdown, or those struggling on low income in retirement. In many cases, people who apply to us have needs greater than we can meet, including needs for specialist advice and detailed information. In these cases we will work together with other charities to do as much as we can to help. Contact for France - Mary Hughes - or

Pensioners can claim ASPA in France and may be eligible for French government financial aid or allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées (ASPA) benefit. The benefit is for people whose monthly pension does not reach the amount of a full French state pension, since, through no fault of their own, such as unemployment, sickness or living abroad, they did not work for enough years in France. It is only available to those who have been permanent residents of France (conditions apply). Recipients must also be registered for income tax. Normally, you would qualify for this benefit from age 65, however, in some exceptional cases, where the person is officially incapable of work you can claim from age 60. Pensioners are only entitled to claim for this benefit if they have a low enough income. It works by topping their total income up to these levels. Those who qualify for ASPA may also be exempt from income tax, TV licence and property tax. The ASPA is mainly managed by CNAV nationally and locally by your nearest CRAM. You should make a claim to them if you have worked in France. To contact them: If you have never worked in France, you should apply to the Caisse des Dépôts, which manages ASPA for permanent residents in France who do not have a state pension. Your application must be via your mairie. If they are not familiar with ASPA, they can contact SASPA

Get Together France
Get together is an English speaking association with about 100 family members, most of whom are based in or near the Deux Sèvres. We range from the young to the elderly and from those that work here, own and run a gîte, visit regularly and perhaps have a ‘maison secondaire’ to those who are just enjoying retirement here. And we also have members from La Vienne, the Vendée and the Charente, as well as different nationalities. Our various monthly groups and events are very popular and well attended, and offer a great way to make new friends and get out and about in Deux Sèvres. And that, after all, is what we’re all about. Our committee is very proactive organising events, activities and putting together our newsletter and we pride ourselves on being accessible to you, so you can get in touch with any of the committee at
France WASPI (1950s ladies)
Calling all ladies born in the 1950s who have been adversely affected by the changes to the state pension age! You may already be aware of the WASPI (women against state pension injustice) campaign but did you know that there is an official ex-pat group in France supporting each other and the campaign in a (closed) group on Facebook? The group is called France WASPI (1950s ladies). We keep members up to date with developments in the campaign to get fair transitional arrangements for 1950s ladies and take part in various on line activities that support WASPI objectives. Please join France WASPI on Facebook, join us and help in the fight for justice.

E.N. VOL. (Equipes Nouvelles de Volontaires)
E.N.VOL, an association registered under the law of 1901, was founded in 1984 by the late Mireille Bollinger. Its objective is to provide a team of British volunteers to visit patients at the Hertford British Hospital. E.N.VOL looks forward to working within the new structure of the hospital. 4 rue Gounod, 92400 Courbevoie Telephone: 01 47 68 59 42

The Salvation Army (Armée du Salut)
The Salvation Army has well-established evangelical and social centres in seventy places in France, where a practical expression of Christian faith operates in much the same way as in centres in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Most of the officers are French, and the leaders are ultimately responsible to the movement’s international headquarters in London. 60 rue des Frères Flavien, 75976 Paris Cedex 20.  01 43 62 25 00 Email:

TOC ‘H’ Association
The Paris Branch was started in 1937. The aim is for elderly British subjects to keep contact with each other, so monthly teas are organised and a Christmas party is held. When possible they are taken out for a day in the country and are visited at home when they are not well. Most meetings and activities take place at St Michael’s Church, 5 rue d’Aguesseau, 75008 Paris. Chairman Midge Hopkin, 31 rue de Paris, 92100 Boulogne Billancourt   Tel: 06 25 40 60 43  Email:

The British Charitable Fund
The British Charitable Fund was founded in 1823, and has since then helped many thousands of British residents in Paris and its surrounding areas, who are “in conditions of need, hardship or distress”. The BCF helps people of all ages and from all walks of life; some need help on a long-term basis, others for just a short time. The Charity’s main aim is to keep the many elderly beneficiaries secure in their homes and to provide adequate and acceptable lifestyles for younger families and individuals until they can become self-sufficient again. The BCF office is open all day Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email:   Telephone in France: 01 47 59 07 69

My training services include standard workshops and bespoke courses and workshops. The Understanding ME Workshop is a 1 day interactive workshop suitable for a number of professionals who come into contact with adults with ME, and who are seeking to understand the nature of the illness. A Therapeutic Relationship for Clients with ME is a 1 day interactive workshop for Counsellors/Therapists in private practice, employed within the NHS and counselling agencies, and who are seeking to enhance their knowledge of effective Counselling for adults with ME. These standard workshops are delivered at venues in Southampton, Eastleigh, Winchester and Portsmouth, yet can be delivered at a venue of your choice (within the UK), if you wish to book it for yourself and your colleagues. Bespoke training can be delivered upon request, and following a discussion of your training requirements.
Email  Telephone 0044 23 8083 7110 or 0044 7729 193629 between the hours of 10:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday. The website is

These are addicts in recovery who have been through the treatment process. Addicts in recovery and a counsellor will help you to find, among hundred of treatment centres, the best one according to your situation. We want to help you to choose the best addiction recovery program for your addiction. Call us to overcome drug abuse, alcoholism, or a process disorder with the focus and experience of addicts in recovery.
Tel: 0033 652 23 55 05 (An English native addict in recovery will answer the phone)

If you have a helpful European resource, please contact Anne with details






























France has a reputation as a high tax jurisdiction and while President Hollande was in power, some wealthy French nationals chose to move to the UK and Portugal, enticed by their fiscal sweeteners.  But France can be a tax efficient place to live for retirees, providing you understand the tax implications of your specific situation and obtain specialist expatriate tax advice.

You are considered tax resident if your main home (foyer) is in France. You would also be considered a tax resident if you either spend more than 183 days in France during the French tax year (the calendar year), if you spend more time in France than in any other country, if your principal activity is in France, or if France is home to your most substantial assets.

Many of France’s taxes sound the same as ones you may be familiar with in the UK, but they are calculated completely differently.  There are some that do not exist in the UK, such as wealth tax, and, for some, healthcare charges.

 Exit tax. France recently introduced an exit tax on the value of certain assets like stocks and shares. The same French compliant structures used to reduce income tax, capital gains tax, wealth tax and succession taxes will also reduce your exposure to any exit taxes if at some point in the future you decided to leave France.

Succession tax. French succession tax works differently to UK inheritance tax and French succession law dictates how your French estate is divided among your heirs.  If you are a resident non-married couple it is possible to enter into a French civil partnership (or PACS), which will reduce your French inheritance taxes. From April 2009, a new, retrospective law was introduced to recognise civil partnership entered into in a country other than France.

Since 2015, new EU Succession Regulation means British nationals who live in France can choose to apply UK succession law to their assets in France, rather than the French forced heirship rules if they elect for this in their French will – but French succession tax will still be payable by each respective heir on what they receive. It is also the case that in these particular circumstances, the UK’s exit from the EU will not change the application of these rules.

The level of French succession tax payable is determined by the size of the estate, the amounts bequeathed to each beneficiary, and the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased – the more distant the relationship,  the quicker the acceleration of tax rates, with often a higher maximum percentage – anything up to 60%.

France and the UK have a double taxation agreement for inheritance tax (one of only 19 the UK has), so if you retire to France, any non-UK property, bank accounts or assets avoid UK inheritance tax at 40% (though UK IHT will be payable on UK situs assets). This treaty lays down a basis of rules in dealing with cross-border estates.

Wills. Wills are a complicated area. A UK will may be effective in France, but it can be a costly process to get it translated and notarised before going through the French probate process. Equally, though, a French will may inadvertently revoke an existing UK will, or be at odds with it, giving a huge headache to your executors.

Take the right advice in advance and your UK and French wills will be complementary. This will aid your executors in quickly passing your assets onto heirs and paying any estate taxes due in each jurisdiction.

Wealth tax. You will pay wealth tax (ISF) at rate of 0.5% rising to 1.5%, as an annual tax on your assets. If you have taxable assets, like property and shares, worth in excess of €1.3m, you will liable to ISF, but the liability will then be calculated on your assets worth over €800,000.

For the first five years of French tax residence, you will be taxed only on the value of your French assets. From year six, your worldwide assets will be liable. “If you don’t import your assets to France and those assets are worth less than €1.3m, you are exempt for the first five years – and that may soon become eight years,” says Rob Kay from Blevins Franks on the Cote d’Azur. “If you are moving from the Middle or Far East to France, to avoid UK CGT on those assets you can sell them and transfer the proceeds into a non-French structure, such as a Luxembourg investment vehicle, used commonly in France.”

Being unprepared for wealth tax can prove to be a costly mistake – and the time to start tackling the issue is before you arrive in France.

Occupant tax. Once resident in France, you will need to pay occupant tax (taxe d’habitation) on the property you live in, whether you own it or rent it. The rate is set by local governments, applied to the official land registry rental value, and paid yearly.

Property tax. Property owners pay an annual property tax (taxe foncière). This, too, varies from commune to commune and is based on official land registry rental values.

Selling a property. If you are a French tax resident and sell a UK property, you will be subject to French capital gains tax at 19%, plus 15.5% social charges, though the tax payable will be discounted for the length of time it has been held. You could also be liable for UK capital gains tax. The UK-France tax treaty should mean double taxation is avoided, with a credit for the tax paid in the UK (up to 28%) against the French tax liability – though with no set-off against the social charges.

There are exemptions for the main home in both the UK and France, but these rules are complicated and differ in each jurisdiction, so you may get relief in one but not the other.

Social charges. French income tax and capital gains tax are not the only regular annual taxes faced by those with earnings, pensions and investment income. France has another layer of taxes, known as the ‘social charge’, which is actually made up of five different taxes. They now raise more than income tax, and are payable at a rate of 15.5% on all forms of investment income, including interest, gross dividends, rental income and capital gains, and at a rate of 7.4% on pension income.

Retirement & Pensions

EU residents. Social security contributions made towards a state pension in any EU country count towards a state pension in any other EU country. A UK state pension can be paid to you by the UK authorities and paid into a French or UK bank account. Unlike in some countries, and while the UK remains part of the EU, the amount you receive is index-linked and increases in line with inflation rates in the UK.  UK citizens can also benefit from ROPS (Recognised Overseas Pensions Scheme), to which you can transfer UK pension funds and mitigate having to pay UK death taxes on the fund.

The new UK pensions freedoms mean you can encash the whole of a UK private or company scheme in one, single payment. If you decide to take this route, France would have the taxing rights under the UK-France double tax treaty.  Therefore, no tax should be payable in the UK, and in France you would only be subject to 7.5% income tax (plus 7.4% social charges which are waived in the majority of UK national cases). So, it might suit you to take this payment once you have become tax resident in France.