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When am I a "cross-border commuter" from / to France?

Cross-border commuters within the meaning of the Germany-France double taxation agreement are persons who work in the border area of one Contracting State and have their permanent place of residence, to which they generally return every day, in the border area of the other Contracting State. The salary is then tax-exempt in the State in which the work is carried out and can only be taxed in the State of residence.

For persons residing in Germany, the frontier territory of each Contracting State comprises the municipalities whose territory is wholly or partly within 20 km of the frontier. For persons residing in the French border departments of Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin or Moselle who work in German communes, the cross-border commuter scheme also applies if the place of work is no more than 30 km from the border. The list of communes can be consulted at the French or German tax authorities.

If an employee does not return to his place of residence every day or is exceptionally employed at places of work outside the border zone, the cross-border commuter status is not lost, provided that

  • the worker is employed in the frontier zone throughout the calendar year and during that period does not return to the place of residence for more than 45 working days or works for his employer outside the frontier zone, or
  • the employee is not employed in the border zone for the whole calendar year, the days of non-return or work outside the border zone do not exceed 20% of the total number of working days or working days in the employment relationship, but in no case more than 45 days.

The working days to be considered detrimental for cross-border commuter status (maximum 45 working days) include, for example, several days of business travel outside the border zone and also one-day business travel outside the border zone if the activity is performed the entire working day outside the border zone (for more information, please contact the tax office).

A harmful day is not to be assumed simply because the employee's working time - due to the starting times or the duration of the working time - extends over more than one calendar day (e.g. in the case of shift workers or personnel with night duties).


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