Tax forms update - declaring 2017 income

This year’s French Income Tax forms (for declaring 2017 income in April-June 2018) are now available and there are a few last-minute clarifications. We detail these, with references to our new Connexion helpguide to the French Tax Forms, below. 

The addendum here is for our 2018 French Income Tax guide and is produced to complement the wording of the guide, but does not replace it. Our help guide is still on sale at this link.

Deadlines

As usual, the deadlines are partly dependent on which French department you live in. All deadlines relate to midnight on the day in question and are as follows:

  • By paper (both for residents and non-residents): Thursday May 17
  • Online for non-residents and departments 01 to 19: Tuesday May 22
  • Online for departments 20-49: Tuesday May 29
  • Online for departments 50-976: Tuesday June 5

Dates for receiving your avis d’imposition

If you are due a refund or a zero tax bill: In your personal space on the tax website between July 24 and August 7, and (if you have not opted to do everything online) in the post between July 23 and September 3.

If you have tax payable for 2017 income: In your personal space between July 31 and August 21, and (if you have not opted out) in the post from August 7-28 or from August 21 to September 3 if you pay by  monthly instalments.

Getting ready for tax ‘at source’

This relates to those with relevant incomes – notably French salaries, French pensions and French rental income – and will be coming into force in 2019. It has not been clarified yet as to whether it will apply for any foreign incomes such as regular rents from UK properties.

If you declare online you will find out at the end of the declaration the rate that the French tax authorities will be sending to your French employer or French pension body, if relevant, so they may deduct tax at source from next year (see more about this prélèvement à la source, pages 7-9).

This rate will be sent to Pôle Emploi if you are claiming unemployment benefit.

As for the self-employed, it will be used so as to take tax by direct debit from your bank account, every month or three months. Similarly if you have French rental income (revenus fonciers) tax will be taken off your bank account every month or three months.

When shown your rate you will be able to opt for a different one to apply in certain circumstances (those declaring by paper forms will have to wait until late summer to do this). The basic rate will be based on the revenu fiscal de référence (net taxable income) of the household, however couples who so wish can opt for ‘individualised’ rates to be calculated by the tax office, for example if they have very different levels of salary.

Those taxpayers who wish to do so can also opt for a ‘neutral’ rate to be sent to employers, based only on the level of their salary. Note that it is not up to you to pass on the rates, the tax authorities will do this.

If declaring online, you will be given a link to a new section called Gérer mon prélèvement à la source, where you will be able to carry out the above changes, if you so wish. There will also be options for those who will have regular sums taken out of their bank accounts related to self-employment or rents etc.. to opt for it to be on a three-monthly rather than monthly basis.

Those who declare by paper will, if they wish, be able to log onto their personal online space to make such choices from mid-July. Your rate will also be on the paper avis sent out this summer.

Providing bank details is now obligatory to ensure any direct debits or reimbursements may be made in connection with the forthcoming tax at source system.

It is also important if you have children who reached age 15 to 18 in the 2017 tax year, that you remember to enter in the main form (page 2), on online equivalent, full names and dates and places of birth, so they will be allocated their own tax numbers and the ability to be taxed at source once they are adults (and/or no longer attached to your tax household).

Déclarant 1, déclarant 2

The terms déclarant 1 and déclarant 2 are still used on the forms but they are no longer used in online declarations. Instead the person or people declaring will simply be identified with their name/s. The numéro de télédéclarant, that used to be used to sign in to one’s personal space on the site is now called numéro d’accès en-ligne, and the tax authorities say it will be shown at the top of each page of the online declaration ‘so as to facilitate the creation of a personal space for each member of a couple’ which will allow each person to ‘personally access the Gérer mon prélèvement service’.

Getting help with online declarations

With more and more people being encouraged to declare online, the tax authorities say that most local tax offices are now equipped with computers which the public may use, which feature step-by-step guides for help on carrying out important formalities (including tax declarations and using your personal online space for the first time). They say that in many cases there are tax office staff or volunteers on hand to help. In some towns there are also partnerships with computer centres called ‘espace public numérique’ which can help people understand the online tax services and provide basic IT training for those who need it. The network of ‘Maisons des services au public’ can also help
(maisondeservicesaupublic.fr).

What is more, the tax authorities say that many tax offices are now going to offer ‘personalised’ help (service d’accueil personnalisé) to those whose tax declarations are complicated, by booking an appointment with an advisor at your convenience. You can request this via the Contact button on the impôts site homepage or in your online personal space under Nous contacter > Rechercher les coordonnées d’un service > Particulier>Votre dossier fiscal>Prendre rendez-vous.

Non-residents’ income tax

For those wishing to declare worldwide income so as to benefit from a reduced rate, the box 8TM has moved from the 2042C form to section 8 of the 2042.

Property wealth tax (see pages 34/35)

Everyone who made a wealth tax (ISF) declaration last year will receive (if they have not opted out of receiving paper forms) a 2042-IFI form in the post, separately from income tax forms. For those declaring online an IFI section will automatically be suggested. Cross the new 0IF box on page 1, 2042 if making an IFI declaration.

If you have only just become eligible for wealth tax and want to declare on paper, the 2042-IFI should soon be downloadable via a search on impots.gouv.fr Alternatively, ask your tax office for one. Non-residents making a Property Wealth (IFI) declaration but no income declaration also need to fill in the 2042-IFI COV to identify themselves.

You will receive an avis for IFI in August and must pay it by September 15.

For more about IFI, Connexion has a detailed guide available via the helpguide section of this site.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

More articles from Money
More articles from Connexion France
Other articles that may interest you

Comment

Loading some business profiles...