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French Taxation

French Income Tax Assessments 2020

Thursday 09 July 2020

With the period for submission of income tax returns in France having closed last month, tax notices will soon be sent out.

Those in departments 01-19 had until 4th June, departments 20-54 to 8th June, and all remaining departments, and non-residents until 11th June. Those unable to make an on-line declaration had until 12th June.

Next month taxpayers will begin to learn the outcome of their declaration, and whether they still have tax to pay or they are to receive a refund.

Since 2018, employees and those only in receipt of a French pension have tax deducted at source (prélèvement à la source), by their employer or pension provider, whilst everyone else pays an amount ‘on account’ (prélèvement d'acompte) each month or quarter, based on their previous income tax return.

If the amount that has been deduced each month is higher than you should have paid, then you should receive a reimbursement of the overpaid amount between 24th July and 7th August. The same applies to those who are owed a tax reduction or tax credit - réduction/crédit d'impôt.

Conversely, if you have not paid enough (as your net income was higher) then the recovery of the underpaid sum will take place in autumn/winter. If the sum owed is less than €300 it will be recovered by a single payment on 25th Sept. For an outstanding sum greater than this amount it will be recovered in four equal payments on 25th Sept, 26th Oct, 26th Nov and 28th Dec.

If during the year your income rises or falls substantially, it is possible to adjust the monthly or quarterly deduction of income tax, and thereby avoid the need for any major reconciliation at the end of the year. This can be done by simply changing the monthly direct debit in your account at Impots.gouv.fr. Caution is, however, needed in reducing the payment, as if you underestimate your final tax bill by more than 10% a penalty of 10% is payable.

The government are urging taxpayers to ensure that their registered bank account details are up to date, which can be done by going into your income tax account and updating the details in 'Gérer mon prélèvement à la source > Mettre à jour vos coordonnées bancaires'. Those without an account will receive any refund due by cheque.

If you have made a tax return for the first time, then the date for settling your income tax bill will be given on your income tax notice, normally 15th Nov.

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