5. Calculating Your French Income Tax Liability

  1. Composition of Your Household
  2. Income Tax Rates
  3. Income Tax Allowances
  4. Income Tax Credits

5.2. French Income Tax Rates

The tax rates and bands for 2014 (for income earned in 2013) applicable to each ‘part’ in a household are set out below.

The rates are applied on a sliced basis so that each household 'part’ of the income is charged on a progressive basis. Thus, if a couple have net income of €30,000 in the year there are two 'parts' of €15,000, with each part taxed using the scale rates.

There are six tax rates and bands, as follows:

Income Share Tax Rate
Up to €6,011 0%
Between €6,012 - €11,991 5.5%
Between €11,992 - €26,631 14%
Between €26,632 - €71,397 30
Between €71,398 - €151,200 41%
Above €151,200 45%

In addition to these basic rates those fortunate few with a net annual income of upwards of €250,000 are liable for a special tax called contribution exceptionnelle sur les hauts revenus. This tax is at the rate of 3% on income up to €500,000, and at the rate of 4% on income above €500,000. Married couples and those in a civil partnership are exempt up to €500,000, when they then become liable at the rate of 3% to €1m, and 4% above this figure. The tax is imposed on net income, after determination of the tax liability under the standard scale rates.

We show below the income levels for 2013, for income earned in 2012, that triggers liability to French income tax for different types of household. If your income is below these figures, then you will not be liable to French income tax. The table for 2014 (for income earned in 2013) is not yet available.

The figures are shown by marital status and age, by household size, and type of income.

For those on a salary or pension the gross income is shown; for those whose income comes from business earnings taxed through the personal income tax system, the figures are the net profits after expenses. This is because there is an allowance of 10% against salaried or pension income.

The tables also take account of the additional tax allowance for those 65+ (see next page) and the fact that if you are liable to less than €61 in income tax and social charges you are relieved of payment.

In the case of a couple where one is under 65 years of age and the other at least 65 years of age, the couple will be assessed as if both are at least 65 years of age, thereby granting more generous tax treatment.

If you have not seen our other pages, then as well as your liability to income tax, you also need to consider your liability to the income tax by another name, that of the social security contributions, which you can read about at Social Security Contributions in France..

Single, Widowed, or Divorced/Separated - Under 65 Years

Household Size Salaried/Pension Business Professional
1 12,138 13,487
1.5 15,486 17,218
2 18,477 20,530
2.5 21,549 23,843
3 24,440 27,156
3.5 27,422 30,469
4 30,403 33,181

Single, Widowed, or Divorced/Separated - 65+ Years

Household Size Salaried/Pension Business Professional
1 13,294 14,771
1.5 16,652 18,502
2 19,633 21,814
2.5 22,615 25,128
3 24,440 27,156
3.5 27,422 30,469
4 30,403 33,781

Married Persons - Under 65 Years

Household Size Salaried/Pension Business Professional
2 18,477 20,530
2.5 21,459 23,843
3 24,440 27,156
3.5 27,422 30,469
4 30,403 33,781

Married Persons - 65+ Years

Household Size Salaried/Pension Business Professional
2 20,789 23,009
2.5 22,615 25,128
3 24,440 27,156
3.5 27,422 30,469
Source: SNUI

If you have a serious disability and you are under 65 years of age, then your tax position is slightly more generous than the figures shown above. You can read more in our section on Income Tax Allowances..

In the case of a married couple, where one of the spouses is under 65 years of age, but the other at least 65 years, then the couple are treated for tax purposes as though they were both 65+. The same principle applies where one of the spouses has a serious disabilty.

If your income is higher than any of the threshold figures in the table, but you were entitled to an income tax credit (say, for energy conservation works), then the value of the credit would be set against the amount of tax for which you were liable. Even if you paid no income tax, then a tax credit would earn you a cheque from the French taxman!

In addition, a discount mechanism operates for those who pay little by way of income tax.

So for 2014 (for income earned in 2013) you are liable to pay tax of less than €1,016, a rebate is payable to you on a formula basis that lowers the amount you would actually be required to pay. The calculation is a discount equal to the difference between €508 and half of the income tax to which you are liable.

Example:

  • Income tax before discount = €650
  • Discount = €508 - €650/2 = €183
  • Income tax after discount = €650 - €183 = €467

>If you would like to receive regular information on French taxes, French property ownership and living in France, then you can register to receive free of charge each month our popular Newsletter..


Next: French Tax Allowances

Back: Composition of Your Household





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