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Italy v France: battle of the expat tax regimes

Lots of countries have specific tax relief regimes for expats - including the UK. Since the UK voted to leave the EU many other European countries have been highlighting their attractiveness to potential employees and major employers. Along with highlighting quality of life and the number of sunny days in the year (that one from Madrid), one of their major selling points is often expat tax regimes - especially for the well paid.

Some countries, like France, have already made changes to their tax regimes for expats - attempting to make things more attractive for employees and employers through simplification.

As this article in the FT shows, there can be huge tax savings for individuals who relocate as expats to other EU countries - with France and Italy topping the table for maximum net pay on a €1m remuneration package.

However, things are far from straightforward - for example, in France, there are many differing conditions to meet for the expat regime and the calculation of what income can be eligible is often horrendously complicated - many employers and employees will find it difficult to get the maximum theoretical benefit. If large numbers of employees are moved to new locations will this impact how the tax authorities view expat regime claims, and will the treatment by the tax authorities be in line with the welcoming messages from the government?

Quite apart from taxes, individuals will have many (potentially much more important) other considerations - what is it like to live in the new location? What is the culture like? How will the family fare? What are the schools like? What is the cost of living?

Any employee thinking about embarking on a relocation needs to think carefully in the round and remember that expat tax regimes don't last forever and notional figures are just that.

Any employer considering asking employees to move needs to consider how willing individuals will be to move and what sorts of additional costs they will likely incur through using an expat model.

France and Italy are offering the most generous tax breaks to London bankers moving to the European continent after Brexit, research compiled for the Financial Times shows.


tax, employer, execs and business leaders, banks and alt lenders, incentives

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