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What changes about life in France in May 2019

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What changes about life in France in May 2019
Photo: AFP
10:03 CEST+02:00
At the beginning of each new month in France there are many changes. Here is an overview of what is coming into effect this May.
Gas prices 
 
Gas prices in France are set to drop by an average of 0.6 percent from Wednesday, May 1st. 
 
Prices also dropped in April by 1.91 percent and in February by 0.73 percent. 
 
Those who use gas for cooking will see a drop of 0.2 percent, households that use gas for cooking and hot water will see a price drop of 0.4 percent and those who use it for heating as well will see a drop of 0.7 percent. 
 
The government has requested that there is no increase in the price of gas until the end of June 2019. 
 
However customers who have purchased a fixed-price contract are not affected by prices changes to the regulated rate during their contract.
 
 
Taxes
 
This might be something you'd rather forget... but the deadline for submitting your income tax is looming.
 
Tax declarations must be made this year even though France has introduced taxing at the source. 
 
Online declarations opened on April 10th and paper declarations opened the week before.
 
The deadline to have the paper form completed and submitted is May 16th. The deadline for online forms varies in different areas, if you live in départements 1 to 19 it's May 21st, for départements  20 to 49 it's May 28th and for départements 50 plus the deadline is June 4th.
 
Despite the fact that you need to file your tax return, 2018 has been dubbed a "white year" which means that in order to avoid paying twice the taxes in 2019, the French taxpayer gets to skip 2018 except on "exceptional" income. 
 
"Exceptional" income are sums that are likely to be one-offs for 2018, such as compensation for breach of contract (in cases where the amount qualifies as taxable), one-off retirement allowances, income from stakes or profit-sharing schemes that aren't part of an employee savings scheme and capital gains on movable or immovable assets. 
 
For more information on this year's tax season read: The essential information about this year's French tax declarations
 
 
 
Changes to tax on oil products
 
The tax on domestic consumption of oil products or the ecological tax (known as the TICPE) will be regionalised. This means that the fuel prices could be affected in your depending on where you live in France. 
 
Photo: AFP
 
CSG "social charges"
 
Following French president Emmanuel Macron's announcement in December, the CSG "social charges" will decline from 8.3 percent to 6.6 percent for pensioners receiving between €1,200 and €2,000 euros each month.
 
The move exempts them from the rise in the cost of these "social charges" that came into effect in 2018. 
 
In total, the change will affect concerns 3.5 million households, with the pensioners concerned set to receive a back payment to cover the first six months of the year.
 
New €100 and €200 banknotes
 
These new notes will enter circulation in the euro zone from Tuesday May 28th.
 
It has been said that the new versions are slightly more tasteful than the ones currently in use and have new innovative security, including a satellite hologram.
 
The new €100 notes have a green background while the €200 notes are yellow. 
 
The older €100 and €200 notes, which were put into circulation in January 2002, will retain their value however they will be gradually replaced by the new versions. 
 
The new euro banknotes. Photo: AFP
 
Student housing
 
Students have until May 15th to apply for an online bursary and social housing for the next academic year (2019/2020).
 
Carnivorous fish
 
If you fancy trying your hand at catching some carnivorous varieties of fish in France, now's your chance. 
 
Initially scheduled to open on May 1st, the carnivorous fishing season opened last weekend and if you have a fishing card (€75) you can try catching species such as pike and zander. 
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