Cat licences and taxes: 6 essential articles for life in France

From French tax forms to cat licences - yes, they’re a thing - Easter traditions and fake news, here is our round-up of essentials for life in France.

Cat licences and taxes: 6 essential articles for life in France
(Photo: Johnny Eggitt / AFP)

Happy tax declaration time, everyone! Yes, it’s that most-hated admin task time of year in France again. Here, we explain exactly who has to fill out the lengthy and complicated form.

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

And, to make everyone’s lives a little easier, we’ve even got the advice of an expert on how to fill out France’s 2022 tax declaration form.

Fake news and disinformation – or ‘infox’ as it’s officially known in France – is a rampant global phenomenon in the age of the internet. The French government is fighting back by media education courses to help schoolchildren learn how to spot it so they don’t get fooled.

VIDEO: How French schoolchildren are learning to spot fake news

It has been one extra little niggle for Britons living in France after Brexit – a number of readers reported that official French websites did not recognise the number on their cards, making using the online administrative process impossible.

But – as we explain here – the glitch seems to have been fixed, so they now accept the card numbers of the post-Brexit residency card. 

French admin websites now accept post-Brexit carte de séjour numbers

There’s a lot of politics around at the moment, what with the presidential elections, and the rule of thumb is that we should try to avoid mentioning the p-word in this weekly “essentials” round-up. So, here’s a trigger warning – we do mention Marine Le Pen in this piece. 

The short answer to the question in the headline, by the way, is ‘yes, in some circumstances’. We explain those circumstances as part of the longer answer.

Do you really need a licence if your cat has kittens in France?

There are dozens of good maps of France (from the cheese map to the map that shows how many cheek kisses you should do) – but have you ever seen a good booze map?

Well, you have now. Enjoy this journey around France’s drinking regions, and do let us know if we’ve missed out your favourite French tipple.

Calvados to Chartreuse: The ultimate booze map of France

And, finally, Easter is nearly here, which means a welcome long weekend for everyone – especially those lucky people in Alsace-Lorraine, where Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays.

The traditional holiday involves fish, flying bells and lots of chocolate. As Easter approaches, here’s how to celebrate in the French style.

How to have a traditional French Easter

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Traffic warnings for France ahead of holiday weekend

This weekend represents the first chance to 'faire le pont' and have a long holiday weekend - and the French seem set to make the most of it with warnings of extremely heavy traffic from Wednesday.

Traffic warnings for France ahead of holiday weekend

Thursday, May 26th marks the Christian festival of Ascension and is a public holiday in France.

More importantly, it’s the first time this year that French workers have had the opportunity to faire le pont (do the bridge) and create a long weekend.

In France, most public holidays fall on different days each year and if they happen to fall on the weekend then there are no extra days off work.

This year that happened on New Year’s Day (a Saturday) and both of the early May public holidays (the workers’ holiday on May 1st and VE Day on May 8th, which both fell on a Sunday).

READ ALSO Why 2022 is a bad year for public holidays

But as Ascension is on a Thursday, workers have the option to take a day of annual leave on Friday and therefore create a nice four-day weekend.

And it appears that many are planning on doing just that, as the traffic forecaster Bison futé is predicting extremely heavy traffic from Wednesday evening, as people prepare to make their after-work getaway and head to the coast, the countryside or the mountains to fully profit from their holiday weekend.

According to Bison futé maps, the whole country is coloured red – very heavy traffic – on both Wednesday and Thursday as people take to the roads to leave the cities.

Map: Bison futé

Meanwhile Sunday is coloured black – the highest level, meaning extremely heavy traffic and difficult driving conditions – across the whole country. 

Map: Bison futé

If you were hoping to take the train instead you might be out of luck, SNCF reports that most TGV services are sold out for over the holiday weekend.