France practices household taxation, instead of individual taxation.

For a married couple, there is no option between separate income tax returns or joint income tax return in France, it is mandatory to file a joint income tax return (unless the couple is married under settlement allowing the spouse to administer their separate properties and they live separately (the spouses do not live under the same roof): in that case, the spouses must file separate income tax returns.

Find below the different tax households in France:

  • Married couples with or without child(ren) or other dependent(s)

They form 1 Tax Household   and must file 1 joint income tax return.

  • Married couples under settlement allowing you to administer your separate properties, and you don’t live under the same roof

They form 2 Tax Households and must file 2 separate income tax returns.

  • People who live together as a couple (concubinage)

They form 2 Tax Households and must file 2 separate income tax returns.

  • A Single person

He/she is Tax Household and file 1 income tax return.

  • PACS(ed) people – Common Law contract – 2 partners

They form 1 Tax Household and must file 1 joint income tax return.

Special years

The Year of Marriage

The spouses have the option between filing 2 separate income tax returns OR 1 income tax return in France

  • 2 separate income tax returns: Each spouse submits his/her own income tax return for the whole fiscal year
  • Or 1 joint income tax return for the spouses – for the whole fiscal year

They need to make calculations and opt for the most tax efficient income tax return (joint or separate)

The Year of Marriage, of Divorce or of Separation of Spouses

The spouses have no option: they must mandatorily file 2 separate income tax returns.

 Year of the death of one spouse

The surviving spouse must file a joint income tax return for the whole fiscal year (taking into account the income earned from January 1 to the date of death of the spouse, and the yearly income for the surviving spouse)