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Tax in France

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Do you have to pay tax in France? What are the rates and conditions that apply? Find out in this article.

If you are planning to move to France, whether to live, work or set up a business, tax will probably be one of your main concerns. Note that expatriates in France are not exempt from tax. Indeed, you are likely to pay different types of taxes at different rates. So you better start by inquiring on related conditions beforehand so as to avoid surprises.

Types of taxes

In general, taxpayers in France have to pay the following:

  • income tax
  • social security contributions which are deducted at source
  • value added tax (VAT) which is an indirect tax applying on the basic price of all products and services available in the country
  • housing tax (paid both by the owner and the tenant)
  • property tax (paid by land and property owners)
  • capital tax.

Conditions

You will pay tax if:

  • you have a permanent and habitual family residence in France
  • you are working in France (but it should not be an ancillary professional activity)
  • your economic interests are based in France.

 Important:

Make sure to check whether your home country has signed a non-double taxation agreement with France. This will avoid you pay tax both in your home country and in France.

Income tax

All residents in France have to pay income tax, regardless of their source of income. However, the French tax system distinguishes between household income, families with or without children and the single taxpayer. In short, families pay less tax than single taxpayers.

Revenue generally refers to the following:

  • wages
  • investments
  • dividends
  • bank interests
  • all pensions
  • revenue on property.

Tax schedule

Tax schedules evolve every year. In 2016, these should apply as follows:

  • a maximum of 9,700 Euros per annum – 0 %
  • from 9,700 to 26,791 Euros per annum – 14 %
  • from 26,791 to 71,826 Euros per annum – 30 %
  • from 71,826 to 152,108 Euros per annum – 41 %
  • beyond 152,108 Euros per annum – 45 %

First income tax declaration

Income tax is not deducted at source in France. Therefore, each family has to submit its tax declaration to the tax authorities, either in person or online.

You are required to submit your income tax declaration in person in the following cases:

  • you have worked in France during the previous year
  • you are more than 18 years old.

You can:

  • either download the form No. 2042 (from the “Useful links” listed below) as from the beginning of May
  • or request it at from the nearest Public Finance center to your place of residence in France.

E-filing is possible if:

  • you are between 20 and 25 years old
  • you are in possession of an authorization letter issued by the tax administration.

Fiscal calendar

Below is the calender according to which you are likely to receive a tax notice (either by post mail or online):

 

Posting date for individuals

Distribution date by post mail

Non-taxable persons

As from July 20

From August 6 August to September 2nd

Non-taxable persons and beneficiaries of restitution

As from July 20

From July 20 to 24

Taxable persons who pay their taxes at once

As from July 20

From August 4 to 21

Taxable persons who pay taxes in one year

As from August 11

From August 18 August to September 4

This can be quite surprising at first. So feel free to seek the help of the nearest tax center to your place of residence. Moreover, remember to take documents such as:

  • the payslips of each working family member living under the same roof
  • any document relating to family or unemployment benefits.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Tax in France Forum 
Services Publics – Income tax www.service-public.fr
Direction Générale des Finances Publiques – The French Tax System www.impots.gouv.fr
Ooreka impot-sur-le-revenu.comprendrechoisir.com

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