The withholding tax (PAS)

Date of update


On 1 January 2019, the government introduced the withholding tax (PAS) to modernise the payment of income tax.

It allows tax to be paid on income in the same year that it is earned.

Employers collect tax on the monthly income of employees based on the rate calculated and communicated by the tax authorities. The amount of tax paid is shown on the payslip.


Who is affected by withholding tax ?

The withholding tax regime  applies to individuals whose country of residence for tax purposes is France.

If the conditions of tax residency in France are not met, foreign employees are considered as non-resident for tax purposes. Withholding tax does not apply to them.

Unless otherwise provided for in a tax treaty, non-resident employees who receive income in France are subject to deduction at source.


Applicable tax rate

The tax rate corresponds to that calculated when completing the latest French tax return.

[Married couples and civil partners can select either a common tax rate for the couple or a separate rate for each individual, depending on their income.

Taxpayers may ask the tax authorities to adjust the rate according to their circumstances (upwards or downwards), in which case a new rate will be calculated. The employer must apply the new rate within a maximum of two months.


To request an adjustment to your tax rate, visit the official tax website



New arrivals in France

If they have not filed a tax return in France, the default rate applicable to new arrivals is the non-personalised rate, known as the “neutral rate”.

This rate is also applied to those returning to France after having lived abroad for more than three years,

This rate is determined based on a rate grid that does not take into account the situation (income and family members).

This rate is sometimes inappropriate as it does not take into account the individual’s family situation or the fact that the year of arrival is a partial year with a favorable tax rate.

In order to obtain a personalized rate and a tax number, the new arrival or his/her legal advisor has the option of filing a 2043 form (paper version only) directly with the relevant Personal Income Tax Department.

Download the form

Self-employed workers

Self-employed individuals pay tax on the income earned in the current year in the form of advances calculated by the tax authorities based on their last French tax return.

They have the option of paying these advances monthly or quarterly.

If they set up a company in 2019, they can choose between:

  • Paying the first advance when the business is launched, by estimating its profit.
  • Waiting until September of the following year.