French Tax at source: all you need to know

France has changed to at-source income tax this year.

In theory, it is a system closer to the one Britons are used to with PAYE, though tax is still levied on households rather than individuals.

In practice, French income tax is now a hybrid between what existed before and a new system. The aim is to levy tax at the same time as income is received rather than in the following year.

Unlike in the UK, it will still be obligatory for everyone to make an annual declaration, to make sure the correct amounts have been paid.

Refunds will then be given – or requests for more payment issued.

It will not change the fact that half of French people do not pay income tax.

The move to prélèvement à la source (PAS) is not an initiative of President Macron but was agreed under his predecessor François Hollande.

Mr Macron merely put it back by a year to give more time to prepare.

Tax workers were worried there could be bugs in the system, leading to a lot of extra work helping people, either over the phone or face to face.

However, Public Accounts Minister Gérald Darmanin is “confident” things will go well and no major issues have yet been reported.

He said: “People were predicting there would be a major bug on January 1, and we wouldn’t be able to do anything – it wasn’t the case.”

Who collects people’s income tax?

As in the UK, it is now mostly collected by whoever pays you the income: a French pension provider in the case of pensions, or your French employer in the case of ...

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