Residence certificate, tax domicile certificate, proof of usual residence in the Principality... clarification is required !
The denomination, the obtention and the purpose of these documents are often subject to confusions.
Sovereign Ordinance No 8.372 of November 26th, 2020 published in the Journal Officiel of Monaco on December 4th, has, at the very least, specified the conditions for obtaining a residence certificate.
This provides an opportunity for clarification.
The residence certificate (certificat de résidence) and its issuance are governed by Sovereign Ordinance No 8.566 of March 28th, 1986 on the residence certificate, amended by Sovereign Ordinance No 8.372 of November 26th, 2020.
Said certificate is issued by the Public Safety Department (Direction de la Sûreté Publique). The conditions for obtaining it depend on why it is requested:
- To carry out an administrative formality in the Principality of Monaco
With this in mind, the residence certificate is obtained, for a person of Monegasque nationality, after presentation of a document establishing her/his identity and her/his residence in the Principality.
A person of foreign nationality living in the Principality must:
- establish that she/he holds a valid residence permit (carte de séjour);
- certifiy on honour, under the penalties provided for by Article 98 of the Criminal Code, the she/he lives in the Principality for more than 6 months per year or that she/he has her/his main center of activities there;
- present any document that can be proof of residency.
- To carry out a formality of a tax nature (as part of the obligations related to the CRS or to provide said certificate to a foreign tax authority, etc.)
Under the terms of Article 3 of Sovereign Ordinance No 8.566, the issuing conditions for a person of Monegasque nationality do not vary from those mentioned in the previous paragraph.
In the case of a person of foreign nationality living in the Principality, this person must:
- establish that she/he holds a valid residence card;
- declare on honour, under the penalties provided for by Article 98 of the Criminal Code, that she/he has her/his main place of residence, or her/his home, on the Principality's territory, or that she/he has her/his main center of activities there, subject to bilateral agreements and conventions;
- justify that she/he occupies a dwelling in Monaco by producing a property deed, a rental lease or a certificate of accommodation;
- submit water, electricity and telephone bills for the past year, as well as any other document that can be proof of residency;
- provide any document that may be required for checking and investigation purposes.
Moreover, Sovereign Ordinance No 8.372 has defined for the first time the notions of "main place of residence" and "main center of activities".
The main place of residence (or habitual one) corresponds to a stay of at least 183 days per year in the Principality or to a stay of less than 183 days if the applicant is physically present on the Monegasque territory for a longer period of time that of stays in other countries.
The main center of activities is the place where the applicant has made her/his main investments, where she/he holds the headquarters or the effective management of her/his business, from where she/he administers her/his assets.
As for the concept of home, it has not been defined. In any case, the home is a subsidiary criterion. Indeed, Sovereign Ordinance No 8.372 indicates that it will only be taken into account if the main place of residence of the person concerned cannot be defined.
The above definitions work towards a broadening of the residence certificate obtention conditions.
The tax domicile certificate (certificat de domicile fiscal) is issued by the Monegasque tax authorities on the basis of Article 7.1. of the France-Monaco tax convention of May 18th, 1963.
According to this Article, some French nationals living in Monaco are considered as domiciled outside of France for tax purposes and are therefore not subject to French income tax:
- French nationals who had had their usual residence in Monaco for at least five years as of October 13th, 1962, i.e. French nationals who arrived in Monaco before October 13th, 1957 and have lived there continuously since then;
- French that are "children of the country" (enfants du pays), living in Monaco since their birth and without interruption.
The same applies to the people belonging to or under the authoity of the Sovereign House (regardless of the move-in date in Monaco) and to officials, agents and public services employees of the Principality who established their usual residence in Monaco prior to October 13th, 1962.
The proof of usual residence in the Principality (attestation de résidence habituelle en Principauté) has been issued by the Monegasque tax authorities since January 1st, 1986 to the following:
- To the French wife or husband of a French person holding a residence certificate. Indeed, in this context, the French spouse benefits from her/his spouse's "tax privilege", the latter being considered as not domiciled in France for tax purposes, provided they have lived together in Monaco since the date of the wedding.
- To the wife or husband of a Monegasque national.
- To the French wife or husband of a person with a nationality other than Monegasque or French, provided they have lived together in Monaco since a wedding which took place before January 1st, 1986.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.