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The tax benefits of having a cleaner in France

If you have a cleaner then you should definitely tell the French taxman about it - and he will give you some money back at the annual tax declaration season.

The tax benefits of having a cleaner in France
Photo: Jennifer Burk / Unsplash

There are legal reasons for declaring that you employ a cleaner – to stop undeclared cash-in-hand work, often referred to in France as ‘working on the black’, and to protect the homeowner in case of workplace accidents.

READ ALSO EXPLAINED: Who has to make a tax declaration in France in 2022?

But there is also a financial incentive.

In the same way that childcare costs can – and should – be declared, costs related to personal services such as the wages for a cleaner should be declared because they will lead to a tax credit or reduction in your tax bill.

How to declare your cleaner to the tax authorities?

During the year you can pay your cleaner however you like – cash, cheque or bank transfer.

But when you come to fill in your annual tax declaration, any salaries paid for out of your pocket – including a cleaner at home – should be declared in the section “employment of a home-based employee” (box 7DF). 

READ ALSO Ask the expert: How to fill out the 2022 French tax declaration

For most people, this expense must not exceed an annual amount of €12,000. For people over 65 years, this ceiling is raised to €15,000 euros, and disabled people have a limit of €20,000.

You then get a tax credit which is 50 percent of the total cost of the wages you paid your cleaner over the year.

If you’re self-employed this will come in the form of a deduction in the total amount that you owe.

If you’re an employee and have already had your income tax deducted at source, the money will come in the form or a rebate.

Who is eligible?

Anyone who fills in a French tax declaration (which is virtually everyone who lives in France and some people who don’t live here but do have an income here).

The residence in question – whether it is a main or second home – must be in France, and the individual claiming the tax credit does not have to be the homeowner. They just have to be the one paying the cleaner.

Be aware, you should also inform Urssaf that you are employing a cleaner, via the Chèque Emploi Service Universel (CESU) website. This allows you to declare payments for a cleaner on a monthly basis, similar to the Pajemploi website recognisable to anyone who has ever employed a professional childminder. 

Doing so allows employers to automate payments – the cleaner is paid the full amount via CESU, with the rest deducted from the employer’s account.

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