My understanding is that I'd need to be UK resident for 181 days in order to avoid potentially paying tax in both the UK and France, but then I never expected this to be simple.
Not quite, that's a basic understanding. It gets more nuanced. You don't need to be in UK 181 days.But ultimately if you pay tax on UK then you can claim double taxation agreement and if you spend too many days in France you'd simply pay the % due above UK rate. Though if you're in France less than 181 days you can avoid that. But you can't have residence and not be a tax payer. So if you want to be french resident you'll need to pay double taxation agreement to keep it. You can spend less that 181 days in UK and be a taxpayer if you meet their 'ties test'.
I looked into this a lot for my wife, before she said fuck it and quit.
France also has a cross border working sort of situation (might be location specific, as we're in a big cross-border working area) where you can work up to 29 days per year from "home" without incurring taxes in France. Social care (ie medical, pension etc) kicks in at 50%.
However all of it is self declared so it becomes a matter of how honest you want to be. That said, if @Dammit is getting a visa to live and work in France, I assume the tax authorities would assume that they would be paid by the local office and paying normal income tax so UK residence would be the exception not the rule.
On citizenship, Luxembourg is 5 years residency but with a fun language exam thrown in. Nobody NEEDS to speak Luxembourgish here as if you speak French or German as well as English it's rare to find a situation that you can't handle (kids leave school speaking all 4 languages to a good level so anyone below 40-ish will manage to communicate). I absolutely appreciate the wish to keep the language alive but it's led to a lot of language courses designed for (mostly) Brits to pass the exam but not actually speak Luxembourgish. I'm learning, but more for "fun"/integration as I have an EU passport anyway.
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