How much can person’s income be before they pay income tax in France?

The level of relevant net income for this varies from year to year; we break down the figures for tax on 2021 income, declarable this spring

11 January 2022

The amount you can earn before being taxed varies year by year Pic: 88studio / Shutterstock

By Liv Rowland

Reader question: How much can your income be in France before you get taxed?

The level of this varies actually each year as the income tax bands are adjusted upwards annually, linked to inflation. 

There can also be changes in the actual percentage rates applied to the bands - although this is not the case for 2021 income, declared this spring.

The question of whether - or how much - you are taxed depends notably on the composition of your tax household (known in French as the foyer fiscal) ie. the size of your immediate family.

Using this the tax office works out the number of family quotient ‘parts’ awarded to you and uses this, along with the tax bands and rates, to calculate any tax due. ‘Parts’ reduce your tax bill with regard to family responsibilities, meaning generally that the larger your dependent family the higher your tax reductions.

Read more: The tax bands for 2021 income

With regard to income from 2021, declared this spring, so as not to be taxed, net taxable income should in general not be more than:

€15,547 for a single person (single person having one family quotient ‘part’ which means no reduction) or
€29,008 for a couple (two ‘parts’), 

€34,121 for a couple with one child (2.5 ‘parts’) 

and €39,233 for a couple with two children (three ‘parts’).

These figures take into account the effects of the family quotient as well as the décote, a calculation made to further reduce the tax paid by lower-income households. They also take into account the fact that if your final tax due is less than €61 no bill is in fact raised and you have nothing to pay.

Net taxable income for a French resident means all of your worldwide income, minus any allowances and deductible losses and expenses.

It does not however account for tax credits, so, for example, if you have money owing off French tax because some incomes were already legitimately taxed in certain countries abroad (such as UK rental income or UK government service pensions) then the total income level at which you have no French tax to pay is likely to be higher than the figures given above.

Read more

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Resident or second-home owner in France?
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