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Millions to receive tax reimbursement in France: why and who?

Some will be due thousands of euros. We explain

Millions of people could be due a refund on their tax in France this year due to differences in tax calculation from one year to the next Pic: HJBC / Shutterstock

Millions of tax reimbursements are set to be issued this summer in France as refunds are sent to people found to have paid too much tax on their income for 2021. 

Around a third of taxpayers may be affected based on previous years.

The reimbursement scheme has been in place since the ‘tax at source’ system came into effect in 2019 and usually happens because you have been charged the same level of tax as the previous year but your income or situation has changed. 

It means you will be due a refund if you are found to have paid too much once your declaration of 2021 income has been assessed.

Declarations for 2021 are now underway with the final deadline being June 8.

Read more: French income tax: Deadlines for 2021 declarations 

Any refunds will be issued via bank transfer, if the tax office has your up-to-date details, or cheque, towards the end of July or the beginning of August.

In 2020, 14.5 million households received a refund of €627 on average. In 2021, 12.7 million households received an average of €819.

Who may receive a refund? 

  • Anyone whose taxable income dropped in 2021, compared to their income in 2020, and who did not previously notify the tax office of this change. This is because you will likely have been charged the same tax-at-source percentages as in the previous year, even though your revenue dropped.

So, for example if you were charged 15% rather than 12%, you have been charged 3% too much, and are due a refund on the difference.

  • You may also be due a refund if your deductible charges rose significantly in 2021, perhaps because you made a large payment into certain French pension savings plans (plan d’épargne retraite, PER), for example. As a result, you may have been charged too much.
  • Property landlords take note: If the taxable amount of your property income or your rent from non-professional furnished letting fell in 2021, you may also be entitled to a refund this summer on all or part of the social security contributions paid at source on this income in 2021.
  • If your family situation changed in 2021, you may have been entitled to a different amount of ‘family quotient’ parts, and therefore qualify for a lower tax rate. For example, if you had a child or became disabled, or became a single parent. This may have caused the number of people in your household, and therefore your tax liability, to change.
  • If your tax amount due changed due to other reasons such as reductions linked to childcare costs, certain eligible rental property investments, or donations to charity. 

Note that if you have significant changes to your income during a given year, you can notify this to the tax office in your personal space under the Gérer mon prélèvement à la source section, so as, potentially to modify the amounts taken as tax at source and limit the need for refunds or extra balancing payments later on. 

You should also notify changes to your family situation, such as a new child or a divorce, so these can be taken into account.

However this does not apply to changes related to new tax reductions you may become entitled to this year due to donations etc, which will have to be regularised later on, once these entitlements have been declared next year.

Need more help with your tax in France? Order our digital Income Tax in France 2022 tax helpguide now.

Related articles

France’s deadline for paper income declarations extended to end of May

French income tax declaration deadline looms - seven rules explained

French tax declarations: Four common and costly errors to avoid

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