Trust distrust, diesel bans and pool taxes: 6 essential articles for life in France

The Local France
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Trust distrust, diesel bans and pool taxes: 6 essential articles for life in France
Graffiti reading "Diesel Kills," next to a road near the banks of the Seine in Paris. AFP PHOTO / ANTHONY LUCAS (Photo by ANTHONY LUCAS / AFP)

In this week’s round-up of must-reads from The Local, we examine the mysteries of the ‘viager’ property purchase, why French tax authorities don’t like trusts, what Britons heading back home permanently need to know, the crackdown on diesel cars and the actual number of seasons in France.


It’s an unusual type of property transaction, but the French system of ‘viager’ has benefits for both sellers, who are usually elderly, and for buyers who can snap up a bargain.

Viager: The French property system that can lead to a bargain

In the United States, setting up a trust is common practice - people use them to reduce estate taxes, avoid the time and fees associated with probate court, as well giving more flexibility and control over your assets. In France they are less common and are viewed with suspicion by tax authorities. Here is what you need to know.

What Americans in France need to know about trusts

Most people accept that moving to France can be tricky and involves a lot of paperwork, but for Brits deciding to go back to the UK it’s easy, right? After all, you’re just going home? Wrong.

What Brits in France need to know if they move back to the UK post-Brexit

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak this week rowed back on several deadlines for its ‘net-zero 2050’ ambitions, including a 2030 goal to end the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles.


In France, however, the rules are tightening up. 

Is France really banning diesel vehicles from cities?

France is home to the highest number of private pools in Europe and it's common to find average-sized homes with a pool in the garden, especially in the south. But, you should be aware that, if your French property has a pool - or you're thinking of adding one - then you may be liable for additional taxes.

Reader Question: Do I have to pay taxes on my French swimming pool?

Some countries have just four seasons, but those lucky enough to live in France have a dizzying array of different 'seasons' defined by food, drink, dress and festivals. Here is our guide to the real seasons of France.

La rentrée to Bals des pompiers: The 25 seasons of the French year



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