We are pleased today to announce the release of our Guide to Personal Taxation in France. The French system of taxation can be characterised by its complexity, high marginal rates, and high administrative costs. There are so many different basis of assessment, and such a large number of taxes and collection bodies, that it defies easy description. Whilst there are a set of general principles that govern the operation of the system, there are so many exceptions to the general rule that it is sometimes difficult to appreciate a general rule exists at all! However, it would be a mistake to assume that it is a country with high tax levels for everyone.
There is actually a very progressive form of income tax, and those of retirement age escape payment of most social security contributions. Local rates are generally more favourable than in many other countries, and there are lower levels of taxation on property rental profits, an important source of income for many international buyers who relocate to France. Despite the existence of a tax on wealth, and the alarmist stories that appear from time to time in the international press about this subject, you need to be a Euro millionaire in France to pay any wealth tax. The process of submission of your income tax return is a complicated one and, if you underclare your income, the French tax authorities have a fearsome reputation for imposing severe penalties. Nevertheless, there is a presumption on the part of the authorities that you have made the return in good faith, and an expectation that there will be errors. So, when problems occur, for the most part things are resolved in an amicable manner, without sanctions! You can find the Guide at Guide to Personal Taxation in France.