topics
tools
Expatica countries
editor's choice

Lost in Cheeseland: How to become an expat in France

Top myths about Paris

Is an international MBA the right degree for you?

Childcare in France

Relocation programmes remain small, focused and consistent

Index Last Var.(%)
BEL 20 3083.51 0.32
DAX 9605.08 0.17
IBEX 30 10058.5 -1.04
CAC 40 4387.61 -0.20
FTSE 100 6806.86 -0.05
AEX 397.5 -0.20
DJIA 16272.65 0.46
Nasdaq 4318.933 0.63
FTSE MIB 20298.33 -0.11
TSX Composite 14214.35 0.18
ASX 5415.4 -0.10
Hang seng 22836.96 0.04
Straits Times 3110.78 0.45
ISEQ 20 836.3 0.23
EUR / USD 1.37976 0.67
EUR / GBP 0.82571 0.59
USD / GBP 0.598544 -0.10
Gold 1329.6 -0.13
Oil 108.9 -0.76
Silver 21.28 0.08
You are here: Home Finance & Business Tax How to fill out a Déclaration des revenus
Enlarge font Decrease font Text size


11/08/2010How to fill out a Déclaration des revenus

How to fill out a Déclaration des revenus The Déclaration des revenus is the first step for paying your taxes in France. Are you ready to sit down and get personal with your déclaration?

Once you establish residency in France, you are taxed here on your world-wide income. Under French law, you are a resident in France for tax purposes if you meet any one of the following four conditions: Your permanent home (habitual home for you and/or your family) is in France. You spend most of your time in France (at least 183 days during a calendar year, or even less if you spend more time in France than in any other country). Your professional activity is in France. The centre of your economic or financial interest is in France.

Obtaining the form
French taxes are calculated on a calendar year basis.  In order to comply with your French income tax reporting obligation, you must complete Form 2042 (the recapitulative form) and perhaps other forms depending on the source and type of income and expenses for the year.

Please note that the income tax declaration must be completed by the due date, which is generally 31 May of the following year.  The date could vary from one year to another.  For example, for calendar year 2009, your filing deadline will be 31 May 2010 unless you file on line, in which case you have until mid June.

It is very important to respect the filing deadlines.  There will be a penalty assessed initially at 10 percent (majoration) for late filing.

For those who have already filed a French tax declaration and are already in the system, they should expect to receive a pre-printed (pré-remplie) tax form, with certain information filled in the form.  This information will include salary amounts, bank interest, dividends etc.  If the information provided in the pre-printed form is incorrect, you should cross out the erroneous figures and write in the correct figures.

For those who will require a form and have not received a pre-printed form, you can obtain forms at your local tax office (centre des impôts) or online by referring to the following website: www.impots.gouv.fr

Filing status
If you got married or pacsé in 2009 and live together, then you need to complete three separate declarations - one for each person for income earned up to the date of marriage and one for the post marriage period.  The latter represents a joint declaration. The same applies, only in reverse order, if you got divorced in 2009.

If your spouse died in 2009, then it's more complicated and you probably need the services of a notaire or accountant. But the overall rule is that you must fill out a déclaration for yourself from the date of death until 31 December; you have six months from the date of death to correctly fill out a second joint déclaration from 1 January until the date of death.

If you have minor children living at home but working (up to age 25), their income is added to yours as long as you declare them as part of your tax household. (See below for a definition of foyer fiscal).

Declaring your income and deductions
As a French tax resident, you are taxed on your worldwide income.  This will include salary, pensions, interest and dividends, rental and any other income.

The most common deductions for 2009 income are:
- outside-the-home childcare for children under seven (50 percent of cost up to EUR 2,300 per child)
- having school-age dependents (EUR 61 per child for collège, EUR 153 for lycée, or EUR 183 for university)
- installation of energy-saving technologies in the home (a chaudière à condensation or chaudière à basse temperature)
- moving more than 200 kilometres to find work (EUR 1,500)
- employing a domestic worker (frais d'emploi d'un salarié à domicile; you may deduct 50 percent of the salary up to a total of  EUR 15,000
- giving money to a charitable organisation will provide for a deduction of either 75 percent or 66 percent of amount donated subject to further limitations depending on the charity- child support costs as a result of a divorce judgement
- union fees

Paying your taxes
Please note that you do not pay any amount with your declaration.  Once this is received by the French tax authorities, they will calculate your tax and send you an invoice (avis d'imposition), usually around mid to late August for the amount of taxes due. If you are a first time filer, you may get your tax bill as late as November or December of the year you filed.

Once you are in the system, the French tax authorities will use the previous year's income as a basis to calculate the following year's taxes. For example, if 2009 was the first year you filed you will be paying towards your 2010 French tax liability on the  basis of your 2009 income.

The standard payment cycle is three instalments but you can also pay your taxes all upfront or in monthly instalments. For more information, read A guide to taxation in France.

USEFUL FRENCH TAX TERMS

abattement
: standard deduction

avis de non-imposition: certificate of non-taxable income (you will receive this if your total income is under the taxable income threshold)

barème fiscal
: tax-rate table (sets out the amount of tax for a given amount of income)

bouclier fiscal: tax ceiling (The maximum percentage of total income that the state can take in taxes, including all taxes. For 2009 income, it is 50 percent.)

un contribuable
: a taxpayer

un credit d'impôts
: a tax credit or a reduction in tax generated by one of many tax saving schemes

un expert comptable: accountant

foyer fiscal: tax household (The household is calculated in portions, parts. First and second children counts as ½ part; a third child counts as a full part. So a married couple with one child is a household of 2.5 parts; a married couple with three children has four parts. Even married children and grandchildren can be added to your tax household under specific conditions.)

impôts sur le revenu
: income taxes (as opposed to property taxes, sales taxes, etc)

impôt de solidarité sur la fortune
: wealth tax (This applies to anyone whose net wealth is worth more EUR 790,000.

prélèvements obligatoires
: all social charges and sometimes this can include income taxes taken at source

TVA (taxe sur la valeur ajoutée): value-added tax or sales tax (it currently stands at 19.6 percent on all goods and services except those specifically exempted.)

revenu à déclarer: gross income

revenu imposable: taxable income after all deductions and credits are calculated

revenu foncier: rental income

GoExpat / Expatica

The article which was first published on May 2007 has been updated by GoExpat



8 reactions to this article

Michael posted: 2010-09-29 15:04:15

is it possible to put a déclaration des revenus form already filled out as an example so that we can see it and understand how to do it because some of us dont understand french enough to read the forms

Darren posted: 2011-10-12 10:31:18

I agree with Michael! A translated or annotated form with some explanation as to where the info can be found would be great.

irene posted: 2012-05-05 15:48:08

I'm with Michael and Darren. Actually SEEING the completed form would be a terrific help.

Ruth posted: 2012-05-16 09:26:49

If you go along to the nearest impot office with all your information, (totals for the year) they will fill in return for you.

Michael posted: 2012-08-01 21:23:33

Thanks Ruth for your adviced did that but still no help even with broken french they were not that helpful still having a copy of a completed form would still make life a little easier especaily for those of us who have difficulty with the language

claudine posted: 2012-10-23 16:02:29

I would agree with Ruth and the other people, examples are easier to follow. [Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

Eric posted: 2012-10-25 00:32:33

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

Andrew posted: 2013-05-29 08:46:15

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

8 reactions to this article

Michael posted: 2010-09-29 15:04:15

is it possible to put a déclaration des revenus form already filled out as an example so that we can see it and understand how to do it because some of us dont understand french enough to read the forms

Darren posted: 2011-10-12 10:31:18

I agree with Michael! A translated or annotated form with some explanation as to where the info can be found would be great.

irene posted: 2012-05-05 15:48:08

I'm with Michael and Darren. Actually SEEING the completed form would be a terrific help.

Ruth posted: 2012-05-16 09:26:49

If you go along to the nearest impot office with all your information, (totals for the year) they will fill in return for you.

Michael posted: 2012-08-01 21:23:33

Thanks Ruth for your adviced did that but still no help even with broken french they were not that helpful still having a copy of a completed form would still make life a little easier especaily for those of us who have difficulty with the language

claudine posted: 2012-10-23 16:02:29

I would agree with Ruth and the other people, examples are easier to follow. [Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

Eric posted: 2012-10-25 00:32:33

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

Andrew posted: 2013-05-29 08:46:15

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

 
 
 
 
 
Inside Expatica
Management culture in France

Management culture in France

This handy guide from Expertise in Labour Mobility includes information on business hierarchy, negotiations, and etiquette.

American associations and clubs in Paris

American associations and clubs in Paris

A listing of organizations in the Paris area that cater primarily to Americans living in France. Updated April 2011.

British associations and clubs in Paris

British associations and clubs in Paris

Our handy guide to the British community in Paris, from cricket clubs to Scottish country dancing lessons to where to find a jar of Marmite.

Anglophone services in France

Anglophone services in France

Here's a short introduction to our Banking section for those living in France, from how to open a bank account to Islamic banking and investments.