Time to submit your French income tax return

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20.04.22
Time for French income tax return

French income tax returns are due in May/early June 2022. Find out the deadlines, rates, and what French residents and non-residents need to declare for 2021 income and gains.

France’s online portal for income tax declarations opened on 7 April.  If you were resident in France last year or earned income from a French source, you now have to complete and submit your annual tax return for income and gains made over 2021.

Income tax return deadlines in France

The deadline dates vary slightly each year and depend on where you live. This year’s dates for online submissions on the impots.gouv.fr platform are:

Departments:Midnight on:
Jan-19Tuesday 24 May
20-54Tuesday 31 May
55 onwardsWednesday 8 June
Non-residentsTuesday 24 May

All income tax returns are now filed online unless you have a genuine reason for submitting a paper return.   If you do need to complete a paper return, the deadline (for both residents and non-residents) is Thursday 19 May.   This is the date your envelope is postmarked, rather than when it is received.

French income tax rates

Income tax is payable on earnings, pensions and rental income, and you are taxed as a household rather than an individual – the parts familiales system – which can prove beneficial.

Taxes are declared in arrears, so this return needs to report the income you earned last year. The tax rates for 2021 income are:

NET INCOME SUBJECT TO TAXTAX RATETAX ON BANDCUMULATIVE TAX
Up to €10,225Nil
€10,226 to €26,07011%€1,742.84€1,742.84
€26,071 to €74,54530%€14,542.20€16,285.04
€74,546 to €160,33641%€35,173.90€51,458.94
Over €160,33645%

There is an additional 3% for a single person where income is between €250,000 and €500,000 per part (nothing is due from a family) and 4% for income exceeding €500,000 per part for an individual, reduced to 3% for a family (up to a limit).

Various deductions and tax credits are available, so make sure you are using all the ones you are entitled to.

Download our free Guide to Taxes in France

French tax on investment income – the Prélèvement Forfaitaire Unique (PFU)

Investment income, such as interest, dividends, capital gains, and gains from life insurance policies/non-French assurance-vie, is currently taxed at a fixed rate of 30% rather than the scale rates of income tax.  This includes both tax and social charges, so it is beneficial for those with higher investment income.

Households in low-income brackets can opt for the progressive income tax rates (plus social charges) so they are not taxed more under this system.

Unless you are a low-income household, you need to declare interest or dividends received from abroad within 15 days of the month-end and pay the 30% tax. This is then offset against the tax due on your tax return.

What you need to declare in France

French tax residents are liable to French income tax on their worldwide income and gains, so you need to declare all income you earn in the UK and anywhere else outside France, whether it is pension, rental, or investment income.

You will not, however, pay tax twice on income that is taxable in the UK. Under the terms of the France-UK double taxation treaty, UK government service pension and rental income are only taxable in the UK. However this does not mean that you do not declare it in France – you must include it on your French tax return. You will then receive a credit equal to the French income tax and social charges.

Real estate gains are liable to tax in both countries, but you receive a credit in France for UK tax paid.   Gains made on the disposal of capital investments are generally taxed in the country where the seller is resident.

Remember that if you are resident in France you are also obliged to declare all your foreign bank accounts and non-French life insurance policies, even if you do not earn an income and/or they are dormant. This is done when you submit your annual tax return, using a separate form.

Non-residents of France need to submit a tax return listing all income earned in France (eg, rental income).

French social charges

Social charges are paid on top of income tax, and for 2021 income generally ranges from 9.1% to 17.2% depending on the type of income.

They are usually calculated based on the income declared in your income tax return and the authorities will send notification of the amount payable in the autumn, along with your income tax assessment.

Property wealth tax return in France

If the total real estate assets of your household amount to €1.3 million or more, you are liable for France’s annual property ‘wealth tax’ – Impôt sur la fortune immobilière (IFI).

You need to file your IFI declaration at the same time as your income tax return, as part of your online declaration.

Exchange rate

All income and gains must be declared in Euros, even if you received them in another currency. When converting your regular Sterling 2021 income (such as pensions) to Euros for your tax return, you can use the rate from the Banque de France, which is £1 = €1.16.

This article is a brief summary covering the basic elements of income tax in France.  It is important to seek personalised, professional advice.

France tax advice

For questions about completing your tax return, speak to your local tax accountant.

If you have any general questions about taxation in France and how you may be able to lower your tax liabilities, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our advisers are cross-border tax and wealth management specialists with in-depth knowledge of the French tax regime and the compliant tax planning opportunities available here.

Arrange a review with your local Blevins Franks adviser

Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; individuals should seek personalised advice.

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