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Taxes For Members

What you need to know about the 2024 French tax declaration

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
What you need to know about the 2024 French tax declaration
The demand to abolish taxes has so far not been realised, so you will need to do your French tax declaration this spring. Photo by Sebastien Bozon / AFP

Spring might mean warmer weather, new adventures and cute baby lambs - but in France it also means tax season. Here's what you need to know about this year's declaration.

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This is the big one when it comes to taxes, the annual income tax declaration known as the déclaration des revenues.

Almost everyone who lives in France has to fill in the annual declaration, while some non-residents may have to if they have an income in France.

Here's what you need to know for 2024;

When

Deadlines operate on a rolling calendar depending on where you live and how you declare.

April 13th - opening of the online tax declaration service. For those filing on paper, the physical tax return document will be sent out between April 6th and 25th.

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May 22nd - the deadline for anyone mailing a paper tax declaration

May 25th, 11.59pm - the last date for online tax declarations for anyone living in the départements 01 (Ain) to 19 (Corrèze). This is also the date to file for people living outside of France.

June 1st, 11.59pm – the deadline for filing online for those in départements 20 (Corsica) to 54 (Meurthe et Moselle)

June 8th, 11.59pm – closing date for online tax declarations for inhabitants of départements 55 to 96, and France's overseas départements

Tax year

In France the tax year runs from January to December. The 2024 declaration covers income from 2023. If you moved to France after January 1st 2024, you will not have to make a declaration until next year

Who 

Almost everyone who lives in France has to complete the annual declaration - even if you have no income in France. This frequently catches out pensioners who are living on pension income from outside France who not unreasonably assume that if they have no French income they don't have to do the income tax declaration. This is, however, not the case.

Employees who are taxed at source also usually have to fill out the annual tax declaration - even if they have already had their income tax deducted and don't owe any further taxes. There are some employees who have been moved off the annual declarations system - but if this is you, you will have already been contacted by the tax office to tell you.

People who live outside France may also have to complete a declaration if they have French income, which can include income from a French second home that is sometimes let as a holiday home.

As a general rule of thumb, French tax authorities consider you 'tax resident' in France if you either

  • Live in France
  • Have income in France
  • Have your main financial activity in France

'Living' in France is generally defined as spending more than six months of the year here.

Find full details of who has to complete the tax declaration HERE.

What 

The other thing that frequently catches out people who have income from more than one country is exactly what you declare on your French form. 

If you have income from another country that you've already paid tax on/received a tax exemption on in your home country, many people assume that you don't have to declare this in France.

In fact, however, you must declare all worldwide income in France.

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If you have already paid tax on it you won't be liable for more French tax if your country has a tax treaty with France that covers dual taxation (which most countries do) - but you must still declare it.

Find full details on what to declare here.

READ ALSO Ask the Expert: How to fill in each section of the French tax declaration

FAQs

And here are a few questions that crop up every year;

Is there an official conversion rate?

If you have overseas income you will need to convert the amounts into euros in order to declare them on the French form.

Unlike in the US, there is no set official rate for this. Most people use an online currency converter to work out the amounts. It's advised to keep a note of the date that you did the calculations and the method that you used, just in case there are any queries later.

READ ALSO 10 common tax traps for foreigners in France

Do I have to declare old/dormant bank accounts?

All non-French bank accounts must be declared on the French form, even if they have only a few pennies in them or have been dormant for years.

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This bit of the form is easy to miss, but it's crucial to do it, because you can fined several thousand euro for each non-French account that you don't declare.

Find more on how to declare HERE.

What about internet bank accounts?

Many foreigners find that internet bank accounts which offer multiple currencies - eh Wise or Revolut - are a practical option when dealing with financial affairs in more than one country.

Most of these companies, however, are based outside France so the accounts must be declared at tax time.

If in doubt, check the account's IBAN (international banking number) - if it starts with FR then it's a French account, but if it has another prefix such as BE (Belgium) or GB (the UK) then you will need to declare it.

If you have questions about French taxes you may find the answer in our Tax declaration section HERE. Otherwise feel free to email us at [email protected] and we'll ask our friendly local experts.

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