Taxes For Members

10 tax breaks you could benefit from in France

The Local France
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10 tax breaks you could benefit from in France
Pay slip referencing taxation in France, meant for illustration (Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP)

From giving to charity to setting up a private pension, hiring a cleaning or childminder, there are lots of things that will earn you a tax break in France - provided you remember to declare them on your annual tax declaration.


France has several schemes to help taxpayers, especially those with lower incomes, reduce their tax burden each year.

If you declare as a household - as most married couples and those with children do - then most tax breaks apply per household, so two members of the same household would not be able to claim the same benefit.

Before getting into the different programmes available, it is important to understand the distinction between the many fiscal terms that are thrown around.

Tax deduction

A deduction (déduction) corresponds to an amount that is removed from your taxable income. For example, you have an income of €10,000 and a tax deduction of €1,000. You will then be taxable only on €9,000.

A deduction can be applied to either your overall gross income or to just one category of your income.

There are also deductions called abattements - such as the abattement forfaitaire for journalists or childminders - that allow people in certain professions to reduce their taxable income. 


Tax reductions

These réductions are applied directly to the amount of the tax that was calculated by fiscal authorities. If you find that you are entitled to a reduction, then you can subtract that from the amount you owe in tax.

However, if you do not pay any income tax, then you cannot benefit from a reduction. Similarly, if you only owe a small amount in tax, then you may not benefit from the entirety of the reduction. 

Here's how the government explains it: "If you are entitled to a tax reduction of €700, but you owe €500 in tax, then the excess €200 is 'lost'."

Tax credits

Similar to reductions, tax credits are subtracted from the amount you owe in tax. The difference, however, is that if the credit exceeds the amount owed, you would receive the difference.

There are several types of tax credits and most relate to family and domestic life.


Previously, taxpayers could benefit from a one-time 'news subscription' credit worth 30 percent of the total cost of subscribing to a newspaper or new magazine, but it was scrapped for all subscriptions taken out after 2023.

How they are applied

Exactly how these are applied depends on whether you are an employee or self-employed.

In both cases, you declare your entitlement to a tax reduction, credit or deduction when you fill out of the déclaration des revenues.

If you are self-employed, the amounts will be deducted before you are presented with your annual tax bill.

However if you are an employee and have your income tax deducted at source (meaning that you have already paid the tax without any deductions), you will usually receive money back from the tax office at tax time.

Tax breaks

Here are some of the tax breaks you may be able to benefit from - this is not a complete list, just the most common ones.

1 Hiring a cleaner or domestic help (tax credit)

When it comes time to fill in your annual tax declaration, if you paid for any home-help during the year, you can declare it in the section "employment of a home-based employee" (box 7DF). 

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, 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.


There is a slight difference if you're self-employed - the aid will come in the form of a deduction in the total amount that you owe.

2 Hiring childcare (tax credit)

You may be able to qualify for a 50 percent tax credit, if your child was under six years old as of January of that tax year (so for your 2023 declaration, your child would have to have been born after 2017). 

The child must be either under the care of a nanny or professional childminder, or they must attend a daycare or nursery (including: crèche, garderie, garderie scolaire, centre de loisirs).

If you employ your own childcare provider, you must declare them as an employee (garde à domicile), and you must pay them at least the minimum wage for professional childminders in France. As there are different classes for childminders, minimum wage ranges. 

READ MORE: Family-centred society: What it’s really like being a parent in France

For unmarried couples filing separately, keep in mind that only the parent who has listed the child on his or her tax form can apply for it.  

3 Union payments (tax credit)

If you have paid dues to a professional trade union, you may be eligible for 66 percent of that contribution back in the form of a tax credit, as long as the total amount of contributions do not exceed more than one percent of your gross income.

The French government warns that this is only available to workers who have not opted to get work-related expenses deducted from their income tax. Pensioners who still pay union dues, as well as people on unemployment, can still benefit from this tax credit.

In order to benefit, indicate the amount of your union dues on your tax return under the réductions d'impôt et crédits d'impôt section. Be sure to keep proof of your payments (reçu du syndicat).

4 Electric charging station (tax credit)

If you install an electric vehicle charging station, you may be able to get a tax credit.

To benefit, you must be a tax resident in France, so it may not apply to second-home owners who live outside of France for most of the year.

That being said, it can technically be applied to both primary and secondary residences, as long as the secondary residence is not rented out.

As of 2024, the charging system must be controllable (pilotable), meaning it has the capacity to change the amount of power allocated. You must use the same company that supplies the equipment (or its subcontractor) for the installation work. The work must be carried out by the company supplying the equipment (or by its subcontractor).

You can get up to €500 per system, with a maximum of 75 percent your expenses covered by the credit.

5 Adapting your home for disability or reduced mobility (tax credit)

If you have made renovations to your French home in order to accommodate a person with a disability or someone who is ageing and losing mobility, then you may be able to benefit.

This tax credit goes up to a maximum of 25 percent of the cost of the renovation.


However, it is means-tested and it is reserved for 'middle-income' people - you can find the most recent parameters here, as they are updated on a yearly basis and differ between the Paris region and the rest of France.

As of 2024, there is another scheme (MaPrimeAdapt') for people on low or very low incomes, and the two cannot be combined.

You also must be a tax resident in France and the works must be related to your primary residence.


Keep in mind you must also be either 1) aged 60 or over and with a loss of autonomy recognised by the French government (standards found here) or 2) you are legally considered disabled at a rate above 50 percent (this is decided by CDAPH - Commission des droits pour l'autonomie des personnes handicapées).

READ MORE: Explained: The help available for older people in France

Previously, energy renovations were eligible for tax credits. However, the new MaPrimeRenov system functions differently - more info in our guide.

6 School costs for your child (tax reduction)

When declaring your children on your taxes, you may qualify for a tax reduction, as long as they are not working or they do not have a work contract lined up after the end of their studies.

For children in collège (lower-secondary), this can amount to a €61 tax reduction. For lycée (upper secondary), this rises to €153 and for university/ higher education this goes up to €183.


If your child is no longer a minor, they must still be attached to your tax household (foyer fiscal). 

7 Giving to charity (tax reduction)

You may be able to get a tax reduction of between 66 to 75 percent, depending on which charitable organisation you give to.

Keep in mind that this is a 'tax reduction', and many workers do not earn enough to pay taxes. Plus, if all your income is from an overseas pension (eg from the UK or US) then you probably won't pay impôts in France.

In terms of how it works - if you donate to a charity that falls under the "general interest" umbrella, a tax reduction of 66 percent of the donation will be shaved off of your taxes owed -- as long as it is no more than 20 percent of your total taxable income (revenu imposable).

France offers a larger tax reduction (75 percent) on donations to charities that help people in trouble, such as homeless charities including Restaurants du cœur, la Croix-Rouge, Secours catholique and Secours populaire.

READ MORE: How giving to charity in France can save you money at tax time

8 Renting below market rates (tax reduction)

If you are a landlord and you rent below the market rate, you may be able to qualify for Loc'Avantages. 

This scheme allows you to get a tax reduction (between 20 to 65 percent, depending on your situation), as long as the property is unfurnished, you agree to let for a minimum of six years, the tenants are not your family members and the location does not have an energy rating of F or G. 

The tenant should also be occupying it as their primary residence and they should under certain income requirements set by the government. You can try the national housing agency's online simulator to see if you'd benefit, and if so, at what rate.

You cannot benefit from this if you are already benefitting from other property-related tax reductions, such as the loi Pinel and the loi Duflot.

9 Investing into a private retirement plan (tax deduction)

Even though workers in France are automatically enrolled in the state pension system - meaning contributions are deducted from their earnings each month - many are still interested in paying into a private retirement plan, called a Plan d'épargne retraite, known as a PER.

PERs are tax deductible - meaning the money you put into a PER can be deducted from your taxable income for that year - this is usually within a minimum of €4,399 and a maximum of €37,094 per year, depending on your personal circumstances. 

READ MORE: Plan d'épargne retraite: Setting up a private pension in France

10 Fuel costs going to and from work (tax deduction)

Employees travelling from work to home using a personal vehicle can benefit from a tax deduction based on fuel costs. 

The French government updates its standard cost price per kilometre each year - this is used to calculate the rebate, and it's also known as the the ‘barème BIC des frais de carburant’ on your tax return.

This is available to employees who can justify the number of kilometres travelled and the use of a vehicle for business purposes. 

READ MORE: How to get a tax break in France if you use your car for work


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