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Old 07-29-2011, 01:27 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Whisper9999 View Post
Gotcha. Well, I've read a little on the regimes, etc. So it's really quite confusing. I guess that you have to pay the taxes you mentioned and then you have social taxes on top of that, right?

Anyway, that leads to my next q: how do you find a reasonable estimate for what your taxes are, assuming of course that you know what regime you fall under?

I guess what I'm asking is that if you knew your regime, a rough idea of your income and the sources, is there somewhere you could go to a rough idea as to the amount of taxes you would pay?

Also, and this may be a complex q, what is the VAT over there? It's just a certain percentage of everything you buy right? Do you get out of it if you make an online purchase?
Well, the regime stuff is confusing even for me.

Basically you pay 4 types of taxes like in the US: income tax, social tax (kinda like payroll taxes but levied on all incomes), VAT, and property taxes. If you are one of the lucky few, you may also have to pay the wealth tax (for people with a net worth over 1.3M euros).

Income tax: Like in the US, there are many opportunities to decrease your taxable income. Like in the US, figuring out your tax bill is quite daunting. As such, it is very difficult to estimate how much your taxable income will be and how much you will pay in income taxes without filling out the official form. The final number depends on how you make your money and what investment you own. Real estate for example is very tax-advantageous in France. Stocks and bonds, not so much.

The VAT is currently 19.6%. You pay that rate on anything you buy online or offline (though, there again, there are loopholes: the VAT on food and medication is much lower).

If you work in France, you will fall under the "regime general" for healthcare and retirement. In that case, you get coverage by paying the social tax on your income (see previous post for rates). If you don't plan on working while in France and if you have never contributed to the "regime general", you will likely be looking at the "couverture maladie universelle" or CMU regime (for all legal residents of France who have been in the country for at least 3 months).

Here is the website:
La CMU de base

You will probably qualify only for the "CMU de base" (meaning that, like most French people, you will have to buy a supplemental insurance policy for better coverage). The CMU regime is income-based. You pay 0% on the first 9,029 euros of taxable income, then 8% of the taxable income beyond that amount. You pay the CMU every quarter.

See here:
Couverture maladie universelle : cotisation - Service-public.fr
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FD View Post
Well, the regime stuff is confusing even for me.

Basically you pay 4 types of taxes like in the US: income tax, social tax (kinda like payroll taxes but levied on all incomes), VAT, and property taxes. If you are one of the lucky few, you may also have to pay the wealth tax (for people with a net worth over 1.3M euros).

Income tax: Like in the US, there are many opportunities to decrease your taxable income. Like in the US, figuring out your tax bill is quite daunting. As such, it is very difficult to estimate how much your taxable income will be and how much you will pay in income taxes without filling out the official form. The final number depends on how you make your money and what investment you own. Real estate for example is very tax-advantageous in France. Stocks and bonds, not so much.

The VAT is currently 19.6%. You pay that rate on anything you buy online or offline (though, there again, there are loopholes: the VAT on food and medication is much lower).

If you work in France, you will fall under the "regime general" for healthcare and retirement. In that case, you get coverage by paying the social tax on your income (see previous post for rates). If you don't plan on working while in France and if you have never contributed to the "regime general", you will likely be looking at the "couverture maladie universelle" or CMU regime (for all legal residents of France who have been in the country for at least 3 months).

Here is the website:
La CMU de base

You will probably qualify only for the "CMU de base" (meaning that, like most French people, you will have to buy a supplemental insurance policy for better coverage). The CMU regime is income-based. You pay 0% on the first 9,029 euros of taxable income, then 8% of the taxable income beyond that amount. You pay the CMU every quarter.

See here:
Couverture maladie universelle : cotisation - Service-public.fr
Again, thank you so much for all the info! Very kind...
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:44 PM   #23
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Most people don't worry about VAT on a day-to-day basis as the price you see is generally the amount you pay, unless the advertising is aimed at a business. So a car might be €19999 including VAT, which would be something weird like €16327 excluding VAT. On the other hand, a small delivery van might be advertised at €12999 excluding VAT, because the business which buys it will be deducting the cost from the VAT which they pay.

In much of Europe (but not France, although things are evolving) people don't really notice their income tax either, because it's deducted every month(*) from your payslip. So you have the strange situation that Americans and French people complain about income tax because they get a specific bill for it, whereas Brits, Dutch, Germans, etc pay waaaaaay more but don't see a post hoc demand for money, so they just treat it as part of the daily grind.
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AARP Article on Group Health Insurance for France
Old 08-01-2011, 09:30 AM   #24
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AARP Article on Group Health Insurance for France

AARP International: An American in Paris

By Thomas Rose
AARO Insurance Committee

Ever get the urge to work abroad? Or take early retirement and live in a foreign country? If the travel bug has bit you and your dream is to retire in Europe, listen up! The glossy fliers may tempt you but sooner or later you'll have to face the problem of providing health care for yourself as an American abroad.

While a short article can't do justice to a subject evolving as rapidly in Europe as in the US, a brief tour in France will illustrate the constraints applicable to Americans who wish to work, reside or retire in France.......see link
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:47 PM   #25
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... The real question is if you are seriously injured how would get home. You could get stuck overseas. Just a risk to be aware.
How does $100,000 of medical evacuation & repatriation (return to home country) insurance for $35 a year sound? Can be used only on trips more than 50 miles away from your permanent residence. Offered by D.A.N., the Divers Alert Network. One does not have to be a diver to join, nor do the medical reasons for the evacuation or repatriation have to be dive related. DAN is a non-profit organization. My diver friends speak highly of it.

Member benefits are here.
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