Declaring your taxesPrint the page
Just arrived in France and wondering how to deal with the French tax system?
Find out here how to complete a tax return.
Don’t forget to visit the ‘My Procedures’ section for your personalized guide to making the move to France a success for you and your family!
What is a tax return?
A tax return is a document listing the income received by an individual during the previous year. It also includes details on the individual’s family circumstances as well as any dependents.
It enables the French tax authorities to calculate the tax due by a person residing in France, also referred to as the taxpayer.
On the basis of the information provided, an income tax demand is sent by the tax authorities to the taxpayer once their income tax liability exceeds a certain threshold. The statement details the amount of tax payable for the previous year.
The tax return is also used to identify individuals with financial interests in France who are not subject to pay income tax. An income tax exemption statement is sent to all those who are not liable.
You may need to provide these documents for certain administrative procedures in France.
One tax return per household
Tax is calculated according to household income, so you only need to complete one tax return per family. Each household may include the following:
- Taxpayer and their spouse (married or in a civil partnership)
Married couples and those in a civil partnership may decide to complete an individual tax return.
Individuals who have just arrived in France must fill out a paper form covering their first year in the country. They may declare their taxes online from the following year once they have received login details to create their own account on the government tax website www.impots.gouv.fr (all relevant tax return forms are available on this website).
The tax return form for members of the same household is Cerfa no. 2042, which is updated every year to reflect changes published in the annual French Government Budget Act.
You can find forms for different types of income (property, capital gains, overseas income, etc.) in the appendix.
All tax returns must be signed and dated.
Other types of tax forms that might prove useful include:
- Supplementary income declaration (2042-C)
- Supplementary self-employment declaration (2042-C-PRO)
- Tax credit and tax relief declaration (2042-RICI)
You can find the terms and conditions for declaring income earned in France in our ‘How to fill out your first tax return’ section.
Deadlines for tax declarations
Tax returns must be filed every year between mid-April and the end of May, or the beginning of June for those who are making an online declaration. In the latter case, the deadline depends on exactly where in France you live.
The tax authorities then send out tax demands in the second half of the year.
You are completing your tax return for the first time
You live outside France
Individuals whose primary place of residence is not in France but receive income from French sources must declare their earnings using form Cerfa no. 2042.
You must then send this tax return to the Non-Resident Personal Income Tax Service.
If your French income is liable for tax, then tax treaties between France and your home country may prevent you from being taxed twice on the same income.
For further details, please see the list of bilateral tax treaties that France has signed.
You can find the terms and conditions for declaring income from French sources in our ‘How to fill out your first tax return’ section.
Helpful tip: For all queries about your personal tax situation, you can call the Non-Resident Personal Income Tax Office on +33 1 57 33 83 00.
Alternatively, you can send an email to the following address: email@example.com
You are resident in France during the year
Individuals must declare their earnings the year after their arrival in the following cases:
- Their usual residence or principal place of residence (more than six months per year) is in France.
- Their main professional occupation is in France.
- The center of their economic interests is in France.
You must complete your first income tax return on paper using form Cerfa no. 2042. You may make an online submission the following year after receiving login details to create a personal account on the government tax website www.impots.gouv.fr.
You received income earned from French sources before arriving in France
Individuals receiving French earnings prior to their move to France must declare this income using form no. 2042-NR.
Income from French and foreign sources received following an individual’s arrival in France must be declared using form no. 2042.
You must send completed income tax returns to the Non-Resident Personal Income Tax Office.
The Tax4Business help desk service, run by the French government’s Public Finances Directorate (DGFiP), is a single contact point for all tax queries involving foreign nationals.
The help desk can be contacted by email at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to fill out your first tax return
You have already completed a tax return
The online declaration is pre-populated with information supplied to the tax authorities as part of previous tax returns. You can find the online form by logging into your account on the government tax site www.impots.gouv.fr.
Taxpayers just need to check the information that has been stored, their family status and their address. You can alter the saved information at any time should you need to.
You must also declare any additional income online.
Where to find your tax number?
- An income tax calculator
- A wealth tax calculator
- A travel expenses calculator
For further help with completing a tax return, please refer to the following documents (in French):
The tax authorities have set up a special tax information hotline to answer your tax-related queries: 08 20 32 42 52 (calls charged at a premium rate).