Tax Residency

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10/17/2009 - 02:29

 Help URGENTLY needed about tax residency in Italy! I'm a French tax resident with British nationality. As English websites are so much more helpful then French ones on this type of subject and as the double-taxation agreement with France is similar to the British one  I thought I’d ask for help here! I have been living in France for 20 years working as a English-French freelance translator. I came to Italy 2 years ago for many reasons, including to learn another  language. I continued to work for my French clients (including many government organisations) through the internet have maintained a complete French freelance status paying my taxes and VAT in France;I now find myself this year staying more than 184 days in Italy. I have no clients/income in Italy or any bank account here. I am renting a flat in SiracusaCould someone tell me what I must do (or give me the name of a good commercialista to advise me?)Basically I want to continue to maintain French Tax residency for my self-employment  income for many reasons. Its cheaper and I would probably loose my French clients without my Paris credentials.Many thanks for help, in particular for someone who has solved similar problems to myself



My suggestion would be to get proper professional advice.   Well intentioned though individual advice may be it cannot take into account all of your circumstances, and you could find yourself not complying with either French, Italian or even British taxation rules.It may not be as simple as the number of days you spend in a country other than France that determines whether you are liable for Italian rather than Franch tax on income.   UK regulations for example,  are based on the average number of days over the past four years plus considerations regarding residence, where your centre of economic interests is, whether you maintain a home in the UK etc etc.  The French rules may be similar in their complexity.An Italian commercialista may be familiar with Italian but not French rules - with the risk that you be advised to pay Italian income tax when the French authorities still regard you as laiable there.The international accountant we used is well versed in UK and Italian rules,  I am not sure if his knowledge extends to French rules too, but he will be able to state if he is able to advise you.   If you want his details please PM me. 

 If you invoice from France - even if in a webcloud - nobody would know that you are not spending more than 184 days outside France.  You're in Sicily, so frankly I would just say you are always here on holiday - if you have no Italian income and dont want to offset expenses against ITalian tax - or rather you dont want an Italian tax presence - I dont see the problem.  If you start working here though, its a different paio di maniche.  Any Sicilian commercialista would tell you the same! 

Thanks for you reply. Thats what I'm doing at the moment. However if I am one day asked to prove that I'm not living in Italy that would be impossible. One glance at my visa card or my italian phone line statements shows where I'm really living. In fact its very easy to show that I'm spending more than 184 days here this year. I would reallly like to know my real legal situation. Basically if I can continue to pay tax in France for my freeelance translation activity based in Paris despite living about 8 months a year in Italy.

"One glance at my visa card or my Italian phone line statements shows where I'm really living"If you are really worried, then have a second person on your visa card [say a partner/friend/the dog], then nobody can easily find out who bought what.  [you can always destroy the second card once its issued]The phone bill doesn't say who made the call/used the line - it could be friends staying at the house I really don't think that there is a real chance of being 'found out' - though, like any 'good citizen', I would never advise people to bend the law.

 As with everything down here: the less you ask, the happier you are going to be.I think that you should be ok as long as you do not ask for residency. Who would know?The question is more if you have health cover etc. because this should come from France.Talk to a commercialista, I've just asked mine and he says that you should stay put and as long as you are registered for residency only in France, you will be ok.If you speak italian and want to know about the work situation in Italy, there are two Italian mailing-lists which I can recommend:LangIT for technical translators andBIBLIT for litterature translators. You can easily find them and sign up on the internet.Not all members are resident in Italy, but they all work to/from Italian, and you can get specific advice from somebody within the same sector.Good luck