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Advice: Should I go freelance in France?
מפרסם התגובה: Samuel Woodward

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:35
חבר (2007)
+ ...
What was that you said, Verslanglais? Aug 22, 2011

verslanglais wrote:
If I remember correctly, there is something like 28% that you automatically deduct from your turnover when declaring, as you can't claim any expenses as an "auto-entrepreneur" (I'm not sure about that percentage, and anyone is welcome to correct me if I am wrong).

I have to say that what you say doesn't ring true with me.

Below is some info I've extracted from a table here: http://www.entrepriseindividuelle.info/Autoentrepreneur.php#deductibles . It gives, in a nutshell, all the relevant figures for an AE to know. No separate amounts to CIPAV etc, no adjustments (unless you change you mind about how much you earned), no retrospective payments, no deductions without earnings (although, of course, you can have deductions without profits!).

(incluant la contribution à la Formation Professionnelle à laquelles sont soumis les
autoentrepreneurs depuis le 1er janvier 2011)

Profession libérale

Plafond de CA (2011) 32 600€

Charges Sociales 18,5%

Impot micro-social (si éligible) 2,2%

Abattement pour calcul de base d'IR 34%

Attention : l'abattement ne s'applique que pour le calcul de l'IR. Le taux des charges
sociales s'applique sur le CA sans abattement ni déduction d'aucune sorte.

Just to make it clear (I hope!): you pay 18.5% of your entire income in social charges, in monthly or quarterly lumps. By "income" I mean what you actually receive into your bank, PayPal account, hand etc. For income tax, it's either a pay-as-you-go 2.2% on 66% of your income - added to the bill you pay for charges, I believe - or you declare your income at the end of the year as part of your houshold's revenue and you'll be taxed accordingly (again on 66%, the other 34% being tax-free to cover any and all business expenses).

I don't know what happens about getting near to the top of the range. I believe there is quite a lot of tolerance the first year, but that if the over-earning is sustained then you will have to a) register for VAT and b) start keeping tabs on every business-related expense as you will be taxed on actual expenses. So, I would advise you to keep very detailed records from the start, including keeping all bills.



Veronica Coquard
Local time: 02:35
מצרפתית לאנגלית
Thanks, Sheila! Aug 22, 2011

...I knew I was being sort of approximative. Thanks for the precisions! (34% and not 28%!)

P.S. Do you not pay CIPAV seperately? I might have slightly different rules to follow, as I am "micro-social" (an obligatory step for ACCRE beneficiaries).

Bonne soirée !

[Edited at 2011-08-22 18:45 GMT]


Williamson  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 01:35
מפלמית לאנגלית
+ ...
The best of both worlds. Aug 23, 2011

Setting up a UK limited company used to be an option but the French government have decided that social charges and tax are paid where the work is carried out and not where the company is registered, so if you're French resident there's no simple/legal way round it

Oh, there is. It still is an option.
http://portail.europale.com/creationltd.htm see also the section with regard to taxes.

The European directive:la 11ème Directive du Conseil de l'Europe (99/666/CEE) du 21 Décembre 1992.
The French law: http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=LEGITEXT000006079255

For those who can read German, here's a comparison between the two forms:

but: If you work in France, you will be subject to French taxes and social security contributions for the part of your activity realized in France.

The advantage is that you do not need so much capital to set up shop as a ltd.

If you insist staying/living in French-speaking country, it is always best to get help of a professional living in a border area like Luxemburg-France or France-Switzerland.
In Luxemburg, you have fiduciaires which will set up shop for you, do your bookkeeping and write your invoices. There is one in Mondorf-les-Bains, you just have to cross the street and you are in Luxemburg. The same is true for Annemasse (France)-Thônex (Switzerland).
The best of both worlds.

Belgium-France is not worth the trouble. Belgium was a good student of France, a little less bureaucratic, bronze medal with regard to taxes and high social security contribution with low pension for the self-employed. (this does not include the European Institutions).

The advantage of being a freelance translator is that it does not matter where you are working.

Unless you love France, it is better to reside in Britain for +181 days and if you love France or the French language, visit a French-speaking country as often as you can or go on holiday at the home of friends/relatives. The distance from London-Paris or London-Brussels is about one hour and 10 minutes.
Of course, you can always go and live in a French-speaking African country.

With regard to bureacracy and taxes France should take a look at Estonia, a paperless society with a flat tax system (maximum 22%), a very high human development index, economic freedom and good education. If a little country like Estonia can achieve this with a maximum tax-level of 22%, why can't la grande nation not achieve the same results?

[Edited at 2011-08-23 15:31 GMT]

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