Below you will find several answers regarding questions you may have on safety and taxation in France. 

The French tax system includes all taxes, social security contributions and charges levied by the public administration and imposed on individuals living in France.

All the information given below is intended for general information purposes onlyIn France, tax treatment varies according to each individual situation. For any particular situation, please contact your local tax officeIt is your responsibility to file your tax return.

 

Why do I have to pay taxes?

Taxes imposed on households and companies are intended to finance government spending and local authority expenditure on general public services, such as education, healthcare, security and infrastructure (roads, schools…).

 

Mandatory French taxes

All individuals living and working ing France must pay the income tax (impôt sur le revenu), the ‘Occupiers’ French property tax (Taxe d’habitation) and the French property tax (taxe foncière).

In France, income tax is not deducted at source from an employee’s salary. This means that all resident taxpayers have to complete an annual tax return and have the money available to pay their tax bill. The net salary is the salary which is actually given to the employee, once all mandatory social contributions (i.e. social security) have been deducted from the gross salary.

Please note

As of January 1st 2019 income tax will be deducted at source.

For the 2018 fiscal year the procedure as explained below remains unchanged: you will have to pay a tax for the income you earned in 2017. Either way, it is essential that you check whether you meet the criteria to be considered a tax resident in France or not.  

Should you have any questions, please contact your local tax office and refer to the International section of the national tax authority's website

 

Checking if you meet the criteria to be considered a tax resident in France

To find out where and how make a tax payment, the first thing you must know is whether you are a resident or non-resident for French tax purposes:

  1. Check if you meet the criteria to be considered a tax resident of your previous country of residence. Prior to your departure, contact your country’s tax authorities. Ask if you will be regarded as a tax resident of your previous country of residence during your stay in France.
  2. Check if you meet the criteria to be considered a tax resident of France. Under French law, you are a resident in France for tax purposes if you meet any one of the following conditions:
    • Your permanent home (habitual home for you and/or your family) is in France. Spending at least 183 days during a calendar year in France is enough to meet this conditions.
    • Your professional activity is in France.
    • The center of your economic or financial interest is in France (investments, company’s head office, etc.).
  3. Check if France has a bilateral tax convention with your previous country of residence. If so, check the convention’s provisions to find out your tax residency. These conventions enable certain residents to avoid dual taxation. To find out which countries are concerned, please refer to the international conventions section of the national tax authority's website

Either way, if you have earnings from France, you must complete an annual French tax return. A bilateral tax convention between France and your previous country of residence does not exempt you from filing a tax return.

You don’t need to submit the convention with your tax return.

We recommend you to bring with you your last tax assessment of your previous country of residence.

If you have earnings from France, you must complete an annual tax return (déclaration de revenus).

Every year, you must return the tax declaration for the previous year. The figure that you have to declare is the cumul net imposable, i.e. the net taxable income of all the previous year’s contracts.

Please note

As of January 1st 2019 income tax will be deducted at source.

For the 2018 fiscal year the procedure as explained below remains unchanged: you will have to pay a tax for the income you earned in 2017.

Should you have any questions, please contact your local tax office and refer to the International section of the national tax authority's website.

 

Filing a paper declaration (déclaration papier)

For your first tax return, you can file a paper declaration (déclaration papier). You can obtain the form online by referring to the national tax authority’s website impots.gouv.fr (type “formulaire 2042 + the desired year” on the search field), or at your local tax office.

You can either send the declaration by mail (the postmark will be used as proof of submission) or submit it directly to your local tax office.

The compulsory income tax declaration must be completed by the due date, which is specified on an annual basis (generally between April and June).

You will be able to file your annual tax return online the following year after obtaining your login information (specified on the tax assessment you will receive after submitting your tax return).

If you are married and your spouse works, you will have to file a joint income tax return. Please contact your local tax office if you have any questions regarding your spouse.

 

Online tax return (déclaration en ligne)

You can file your tax return online through impots.gouv.fr

It is your responsibility to make sure you complete and submit your tax return by the due date, which is specified on an annual basis (generally between April and June).

Please note: you will not be able to submit your tax return online if you have not previously submitted a paper declaration. You must wait for the national tax authorities to send you your login information which is specified on the tax assessment you receive after submitting your first tax return.

Your online declaration will be already pre-filled. All you have to do is review the pre-filled information and add any missing details before validating.

If you are married and your spouse works, you will have to file a joint income tax return. Please contact your local tax office if you have any questions regarding your spouse.

After filing your tax return, if you are taxable, you will receive a tax assessment (avis d’imposition) indicating a deadline for the payment of your taxes. If you are not taxable, you will receive a non-tax assessment (avis de non-imposition).

In both cases, keep this document as many administrations will ask you for it as a proof of your income.

To pay your taxes, follow the instructions on your tax assessment.

Should you have any questions, please contact your local tax office and refer to the International section of the national tax authority's website.

France is a safe country. As everywhere else, however, you must remain cautious. By following these basic safety tips you can go a long way in ensuring you avoid danger.

  • Do not leave your bags and valuable items unattended in public places.
  • Always stay vigilant in crowded areas, such as tourist attractions, airports and public transports, to avoid being pickpocketed.
  • On the metro, be discreet when using your smartphone and other electronic devices.
  • Comply with authorities’ orders.

Call the nearest police station by dialing the number 17.

 

Your credit card is lost or stolen
  • Immediately report your missing credit card to your bank. You will need your card’s 16-digit number and expiry date. If you cannot find your bank’s phone number you can call 0 892 705 705 from a landline, a public or mobile phone 24/7 (€0.34/min).
  • Report the stolen or lost credit card at the nearest police station (commissariat de police).

 

Your residence permit is lost or stolen
  • Immediately report your missing residence permit to a police station. A written receipt will be issued.
  • Go to your Préfecture or sous-préfecture to get a replacement residence permit. You’ll have to bring the written receipt from the police station. The replacement will cost you €16 and must be paid in tax stamps.

If you have been victim of an assault, contact any police station to report or give notice of the assault.

 

Police report (Main courante)

The victim of a crime not deemed sufficiently serious to press criminal charges (porter plainte) may make a report to the police in order to establish a record of the incident (déposer une main courante). This means that the perpetrator won’t be under investigation. The statement is written and registered. The perpetrator will be summoned if need be. The victim will receive a written receipt of the police report with the place, date and time of the report and the registration number.

 

The complaint (Porter plainte)

Usually the first document filed in a lawsuit is the complaint, which provides an outline of the plaintiff’s (victim of the offence) case against the defendant. Only the victim, his/her legal representative and his/her dependents are entitled to lodge a complaint. If the victim is a minor, his/her parents or guardian can lodge a complaint on his/her behalf.