Filing a tax return does not necessarily imply that an income tax has to be paid.
The need for taxation is asserted in article 13 of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen: "For the maintenance of the public force, and for administrative expenses, a general tax is indispensable; it must be equally redistributed among all citizens, in proportion to their ability to pay".
How to get a French tax number
To apply for a French tax number you can complete form 2043 available on the French tax authorities’ website and take it to your local tax office (Service des Impôts des Particuliers). It is possible to drop it in the designated letter box outside the tax office or to hand it in to a tax office employee.
Alternatively you can apply online via this link.
On the first page of form 2043 you are asked to fill in your basic personal details. These include your name, address, phone number and Social Security number. If you’re filing jointly, you need to add your spouse’s personal details.
On the second page you must submit information about your taxable household and your children. At the bottom of page 2, if there is a bilateral tax agreement between France and your country, notify it in the information section.
On the third page, you are asked to enter information regarding employment income, rental income, dividends, partnership income, retirement saving plans, maintenance payments etc…,
Following your application for a tax number and after your identity has been officially checked, you will receive an email from your local tax office providing you with your tax number and access codes enabling you to create a personal account on the national tax office website.
Why it is recommended to apply for a tax number
Having a tax number enables you to register with the online tax portal, submit your French tax return, pay your taxes online and also manage your withholding tax rate.
Income not to be declared:
In some cases, you are not required to declare your entire income. Tax relief is applied in the following situations :
- If you are a student under the age of 25: your income does not need to be declared if altogether it does not exceed 3 times the French minimum wage SMIC): €4,495. If you have earned more than …., only declare the excess amount. For instance, if you earned €7,500, you must declare € 3,005.
- If you have done an internship, declaring income known as indemnités de stage below € 18,255* Is not required.
Tax treaties :
France has signed tax treaties with many countries to resolve specific cases and/or avoid double taxation. As a researcher, your income may be covered by a bilateral tax agreement between your last country of tax residence and France.
If a tax treaty is applicable :
- when filing your tax return, enter 0 in the 1AJ box and in the additional information section* write « chercheur international dans un institut public exonéré d’impôt sur le revenu pendant … ans au regard de la convention fiscale franco-………, article …. Je suis arrivé.e le ../../20.. et je repars normalement le ../../20... (I am an international researcher in a research institute and according to article … in the tax treaty between France and … I benefit from a tax exemption on my income. I arrived in France on ../../20.. and I am due to leave on ../../20..). Attach proof of your employment status as a researcher in France such as a copy of your passeport talent chercheur residence permit and a copy of your work contract.
* paper tax return : « Informations » / online tax return : « Mention »
HOUSING TAX :
Whether you own or rent, you have to pay a tax called taxe d'habitation for your main residence and second home.
The housing tax is a tax collected for the benefit of local authorities.
Its amount varies from one municipality to another and the characteristics of your accommodation (size, number of rooms, etc.) and your personal situation (household income, composition of the household, etc.). The housing tax is established according to your situation on January 1 of the tax year.