Guide to French Income Tax

3. Liability to French Income Tax

  1. Who Pays Tax in France?
  2. Are you Resident or Non-Resident?
  3. What is your Fiscal Household?
  4. What Income is Taxed in France?

3.1. Who Pays Income Tax in France?

Personal income tax in France is called Impôt sur le revenu.

You are liable to French income tax if:

  • You are fiscally resident in France;
  • On the income of the whole household;
  • And on the basis of your worldwide income.

You may also be subject to French income tax even if you do not have a permanent home in France. The extent of your liability will depend on the type of income you earn in France and the terms of any double taxation treaty between your home country and France.

These tax treaties have been developed in order to avoid a situation where the same income is taxed twice, and to determine the rights of taxation between two countries.

The treaties form the basis upon which a decision is made as to the country in you are considered to be 'fiscally resident', and the basis upon which you will be taxed.

For example, here is the UK/France tax treaty and the US/France tax treaty.

Thus, for example, if you are non-resident, rental income from France is normally taxable in France, as is certain other income.

Accordingly, you do not have to be living in France to be liable to French income tax, although non-residents will only be assessed on the basis of income actually earned in France.

In the following pages we summarise the potential tax liability in France of individuals. Business owners and certain other specialist employment groups affected by cross-border taxation policies are not considered in any detail.

We have other pages on the Taxation of Business Profits in France.

Next: Your Residency Status

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