“We want to build the financial capital of the future,” said the PM. “In a word, now is the time to come to France.”
As many consumers of expat financial services in France already know, the French tax regime allows for tax deductions for non-salary benefits – for example, assistance for education fees.
The government also indicated that it would try to create more favourable working conditions for British wealth management firms looking to operate in France.
However, one potential stumbling block is the issue of freedom of movement; France agrees with other EU countries that British financial firms should be allowed to retain free access to EU markets only if Britain remains committed to the principle.
Statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that a record number of savers are now members of workplace pension schemes.
The figures show that the proportion of employees who are contributing to a company pension has risen significantly in the five years since Auto-Enrolment (AE) began.
AE was introduced in 2012 and makes it compulsory for employers to automatically enrol all eligible employees into a pension scheme unless the employee actively opts out. An employee is eligible for AE if they are aged between 22 and the state pension age and have a salary of more than £10,000.
In 2012, prior to AE, 47 per cent of UK employees were enrolled on a company pension scheme. This figure has now risen to 73 per cent in 2017. In other words, there are over 9.5 million more people saving for their retirement than there were five years ago, and it’s mainly thanks to AE.
When I first meet a client it takes time for us to get to know each other, and every single person is different with different needs. However, at the root of those needs is usually the desire to find out how best to keep all those hard earned savings, investments and pensions as tax efficient as possible.
Once you have left the UK and become resident in France, the ISAs and other tax efficient savings you may hold in the UK are no longer tax-free and you need to give careful consideration about how you deal with this. With the new Common Reporting Standards that were introduced recently we can no longer bury our heads in the sand and think that the French taxman will not know about the assets you have left in the UK and will not look to tax you accordingly.