Yep – Springtime in France brings warm, sunny weather, green gardens – and taxes! Tax season officially opened on April 12th and the online filing deadlines differ according to which department you live in.
|01 to 19||Tuesday May 23rd|
|20 to 49||Tuesday May 30th|
|50 to 974/976||Tuesday June 6th|
Assuming you have filed a declaration in previous years, you may have already received your link to complete the online filing for this year with some of the fields pre-filled for you. If your situation has changed in any way, including your address, marital status, or financial situation, you need to ensure that your tax declaration reflects your current situation.
If you are filing for the first time (remember it is a legal obligation for all residents of France, even if you have zero income), you’ll need to ask your local tax office for a paper form to complete. The deadline for paper declarations is the same for all French residents – May 17th.
If the ‘Déclaration d’impôts sur le revenu’ form is really making you scratch your head, then you might seek the help of an accountant. But you need to do this quickly, as you won’t be the only one looking for an accountant right now! If you need a referral for an English-speaking accountant, feel free to contact Renestance, but don’t be surprised if our recommendations are fully booked, as well.
You should receive your tax statement – ‘Avis d’impôts’ – in August/September, unless you are a first time declarer, in which case it may be a month or so later.
Here is the link to the Government tax site for declaring income taxes: https://www.impots.gouv.fr/portail.
Anyone with a ‘Revenu Fiscal de Référence’ (Fiscal Reference Revenue or RFR), of over 28,000€ in 2015 MUST declare online from this year. How is your RFR calculated? Well, as expected, it’s complicated and rather opaque! It is almost the same as your taxable revenue, but not quite. Here is a link showing how it’s calculated (in French): http://www.journaldunet.com/patrimoine/pratique/finances-personnelles/impots/18282/revenu-fiscal-de-reference-2017-qu-est-ce-que-c-est.html.
But you don’t really need to know how it’s calculated, you just need to be able to find it on your previous Avis d’Impôts. If you look in the left-hand box, it should be about the fourth line down. This number is not only necessary to know for ongoing tax declarations (if it’s over 28,000€, as above), but it also determines whether you can benefit from certain types of financial aid. If your RFR is under a certain level for your family situation, you may have access to free supplemental/top-up health insurance (CMU-C), a special type of savings account called a ‘Livre d’Epargne Populaire’ (LEP) with a higher interest rate, or other benefits.
Well that’s our 2017 tax two pennyworth – happy filing everyone!