Understanding exactly what tax you have to pay when you become a resident of a new country is no easy task, especially in a country such as France, with multiple types of tax and stipulations to break down.
But, with a little expert guidance, you can easily discover which taxes matter to you and ensure you never fall on the wrong side of the law. At Elitax, we’ve spent almost two decades helping expatriates and new French residents get their head around the tax system — and our tax advisors are ready to help you, too.
So, below is some key guidance on taxes in France to familiarise yourself with French tax policies and be certain to meet deadlines and avoid penalty charges. If you have any more questions or queries regarding tax payments in France, feel free to contact Elitax today.
In France, income tax is levied on households, rather than individually.
French tax law is, in many ways, flexible to individual circumstances. For example: in the years of marriage, separation, or the death of a spouse, there are tax changes you must consider.
As a resident of France, an individual is subject to five main types of direct taxes:
In France, income tax of year N is always paid in its entirety the following year. Up to 2018, there is no income tax withheld by employers, nor other institutions (pension funds, banks, financial institutions etc.).
At the submission of the yearly income tax return, the taxpayer declares the income earned during the preceding year, then the Tax Authority computes and calculates the income tax to pay. There are ways and means to reduce the final tax bill via aspects such as deductible charges, the income splitting system (quotient familial), considering the number of individuals in the tax household (single, married couple, spouses who have signed a civil law contract, number of dependents), the tax credits and, finally, the tax reductions.
However, income tax withholding will be introduced again in France in 2019 for the first time since its abolition in 1948. Consequently, during 2019, income tax of both the years 2018 and 2019 will be due by the taxpayers in France.
It is obvious that this would create huge financial pressure on the taxpayer. Therefore, the French Government has decided not to tax income earned during the year 2018, creating what it calls “L’année Blanche”, or the “White Year”.
So, good news for newcomers to France: 2018 is the year to come and work in France, as you will save one year of income tax! If you are moving to France from the new tax year starting April 6, for UK citizens, this will result in nine tax-free months. This opportunity will occur for the first time in 70 years and will surely not happen again in a lifetime! If you are thinking of moving to France or not, this is the year — and with the new laws on newcomers’ tax incentives, you can drastically reduce your income tax to pay for the next eight years after 2018.
We here at Elitax would be very glad to help position you safely in the French tax system. Want to get started with our expert tax advisors? Call our Paris-based office on +33 (0)1 43 71 10 05, or send us a message today.
We’ve helped hundreds of clients resolve their tax issues.
As an Australian working in France I found the French Tax system somewhat daunting. I first approached Elitax three years ago when confronted with an Audit from the French Tax Office. With a number of investments in my home country this was a daunting task. Eliane and her team worked tirelessly to help me provide the 3cm thick file of paperwork and submit the request on time. During the preparation Elitax uncovered that I had been made an error during the two years under audit and I was due a small refund! I have been a client of Elitax ever since, even after returning to Australia. If you need to navigate the vagaries of the French Tax system I highly recommend Eliane, Stephanie and the team at Elitax.
“Elitax gave me honest and clear advice, which has proved very helpful. I have recommended them to my expatriate friends.”
Very reactive and efficient service – helped me navigate the complexities of the tax system in France after my work move
For several years now I have consulted Elitax on tax advice and have entrusted Madame Rakotonoel with the preparation and submission of my annual tax returns. As a British expatriate moving to France I have found her advice and guidance invaluable on both a personal and professional level. Despite her busy schedule she has always found the time for a meeting or an exchange of messages to clarify specific points on tax matters and with generous help in the preparation of communications with the authorities where necessary.