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French Taxation

French Tax Demands Drop Through the Letterbox

Tuesday 04 September 2007

Unlike the UK, there is no system of PAYE in France, so households in France wait anxiously to receive their income tax demand once a year.

The demands are sent out during August and September, with payment due within around a month of receipt.

For those just returning from a long and possibly expensive summer holiday it is not a letter households await to receive with impatience.

Thankfully, the pain of doing so is eased by the knowledge that levels of income tax are relatively mild and it is possible to pay by instalments.

Indeed, nearly half of the population in France do not pay income tax, and up to two thirds will pay less than €1500 a year.

So for many people the only thing that is going to drop through the letterbox is a notice of non-imposition.

Below is an approximate guide to the net income you would need to earn, by household size, before you would be liable to pay income tax in France.

Income Thresholds

Household SizeIncome
Single Adult€11,265
Single Adult + Child€14,176
Two Adults€16,963
Two Adults + Child€19,790
Two Adults + Two Children€22,597
Two Adults + Three Children€28,211


As there is no system of PAYE, then income tax is paid in arrears. So this month, taxpayers will pay income tax on their income earned in 2006.

The previous Villepin government under Chirac expressed an intent to introduce PAYE in 2009, which would have meant that there would be a tax holiday for salaried employees in 2008. The new government have yet to express a clear opinion on the subject.

You can read more about French income tax and other French taxes in our guide to Tax in France.

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