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A guide to taxes in France

28th February 2012, Comments3 comments

A guide to taxes in France
After living in France long-term, you will be subject to taxes in France and will need to file a French tax return.

You must pay French taxes, called impôts, if you become a resident of France. Apart from those holding a residence permit, you must pay tax if you spend more than 182 days in France during a calendar year, if France is the country you live in more than any other, if most of your wealth is based in France or if your main activity is in France.

Taxes in France

Taxes are calculated yearly, according to your earnings from 1 January to 31 December inclusive. You will be required to declare all your earnings from the moment of your arrival in France if your stay thereafter is uninterrupted before officially becoming a resident (see Residence permits).

Taxes are calculated from the information you supply in a form called la déclaration d'impôts, which must be completed and sent to your local tax office by 28 February of every year. It concerns all information about your earnings during the previous calendar year. It is not uncommon for the February deadline to be extended by several weeks, in which case it is announced beforehand by the tax authorities and widely reported in the media. You can also opt to file your yearly déclaration via the internet.

If you fail to supply your yearly tax return by the given deadline, you will be subject to a surtax of 10 percent.

You can pay tax in three instalments spread through the year, which is still the most common choice, or opt for a direct monthly debit system.

In the case of instalments, these are separately payable by 15 January, 15 May and 15 September. You will be notified by the tax office of what you should pay before each instalment is due. The sums of the first two instalments are estimated, based your last yearly tax payment.

So, in 2012, your first two instalment payments are each one third of the total tax bill you incurred in 2010. Before the third and final payment is due 15 September, your February declaration – which concerned 2011 – will have been processed. This final payment will be adjusted to amount to the exact remaining sum of what you owe for 2011.

If you are salaried, your employer will provide you with notification of your declarable income for the year concerned. If you are self-employed, you must be able to produce detailed accounts of your earnings.

It is best to seek expert advice before filling in your tax form; you may be liable for tax on wealth, capital gains and inheritance. Conversely, tax concessions are accorded to different categories of tax payers, including parents, people who contribute to charity and a number of professions. Tax returns are processed by your local tax office, called le centre des impôts, and you must contact them to obtain your first tax return form in time for the yearly deadline.

Once you are recorded in the system, the form will be sent automatically to your home address each year. If you move house during the year, it is your duty to send the next déclaration to your new local tax office.


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3 comments on this article Add a comment

  • 10th April 2013, 02:14:03 frank posted:

    www.salairebrut.net displays a table of already calculated net salaries in France

  • 8th June 2014, 09:47:01 Michael Lockett posted:
    This is my first tax return. And they are asking for my tax number but I dont have one. How can I find it or do my tax return without it?
  • 12th September 2014, 23:20:33 Marina posted:
    Should i also include my husband in filling a form? Me and my husband works here in france as a housekeeper,my salary has fully declared by my employers but my husband's salary is not declared to anyone of his employer,what will i do?this is our first time to do this for 2013.

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