French News Archive


French Income Tax Exemption Thresholds 2020/21

Wednesday 10 February 2021

How much income can you earn before you pay income tax in France this year on 2020 income?

Income tax in France is structured around five earnings bands, with rates that apply to the fractional income within each band.

The tax bands and rates for 2021 (for 2020 income) are as follows:

Tax Band
Up to €10,084 0 %
€10,085 to €25,71011 %
€25,711 to €73,51630 %
€73,517 to €158,22241 %
From €158,22345 %

These figures do not mean that if your income is, say, €25,000, it will all be charged at the rate of 11%. The rates apply to each fractional slice of income for each 'part' of the household, using a method called the 'quotient familial'. An adult is normally one part, and a child a half-part.

Thus, by way of an example, assume a household of two adults on a joint net taxable income of €30,000. In the first place their income is divided into two parts of €15,000. Each part is then taxed on a fractional basis using the tax bands. The first €10,084 of each part is zero rated, and the remaining €4,916 of each part then charged at 11%. The tax payable by each adult is then multiplied by two to give the total tax payable.

The rates are for those who are resident in France: non-residents pay at a basic rate of 20% on net capital income, such as French rental income. There are also separate rules that apply for non-residents in receipt of a salary or pension from France.

The following table shows the income thresholds (after basic allowances) that apply before you will pay income tax in France on 2020 income, based on household size.

The table shows that:

  • A couple (married/civil partnership) with a taxable income below €28,617 would not pay income tax.
  • A couple with two children would not pay tax if their joint taxable income was less than €38,701.
  • A single person living on their own would pay no income tax if their taxable income was below €15,341.
Number of Parts

In due course, we will publish information on the amount of income tax payable at different levels of income above these exempt thresholds.

In addition to the basic rates of income tax, those with a taxable income of upwards of €250,000 pa are liable for a special tax called the '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, at which point they become liable at the rate of 3% to €1m, and 4% above this figure.

Related Reading:

Thank you for showing an interest in our News section.

Our News section is no longer being published although our catalogue of articles remains in place.

If you found our News useful, please have a look at France Insider, our subscription based News service with in-depth analysis, or our authoritative Guides to France.

If you require advice and assistance with the purchase of French property and moving to France, then take a look at the France Insider Property Clinic.