If I made money in 2020 on online platforms such as Airbnb or Vinted, do I have to declare it to the tax office on my declaration this spring?
There is no single answer to this as it depends on the nature and amount of the income.
In some cases the income is declarable, in some it is not.
Note that online platforms based in France have a legal obligation to inform you about tax obligations and also to send you a summary of your earnings on the site in the previous year. This is sent around the start of the year.
Sites are also obliged to make a declaration of your income to the tax office unless you made less than €3,000 or carried out fewer than 20 transactions on the site in the year.
In this case this income will be shown during your income tax declaration – however it is for your information and you do not necessarily have to transfer the figures to the main boxes of the declaration. It is for you to decide if they are declarable.
In the case of selling on online sites like eBay or Vinted or leboncoin, income from making items and selling them, or buying and reselling items does have to be declared.
This will usually be declarable as micro-BIC income, unless you opt for taxation under the régime réel (unlikely unless where this is a top-up income, not a main business).
This is not the case if you are selling your own everyday items, eg used clothes. Essentially there would only be a declarable income here if you were considered to have made a capital gain but in the vast majority of cases you will probably sell for less than you paid for the item.
There is an exception however in the case of selling antiques, objets d’art, precious metals and jewels and similar valuables and collectibles. In some cases these are declarable (and payable) on special forms within a month of sale, either for a flat tax or under the ordinary regime of capital gains on sales of so called ‘moveable property’ (in French law this refers to everything you own apart from buildings and land) if you have paperwork to prove the gain.
With the exception of precious metals, where all sales are taxable, this only concerns sales for amounts of more than €5,000.
Capital gains on moveable property are also transferred to box 3VZ of the 2042C form or the main online annual declaration to be accounted for in your overall net income figure for the year.
Sales of people’s ordinary home furnishings or home electrical and white goods are not affected by this.
What about rentals on sites such as Airbnb?
As with buying and selling, income from this may be declarable and taxable as micro-BIC income.
In most cases any income you make from holiday letting your home – short-terms lets of 90 days maximum – should be declared for tax, however income from renting out part of your own main residence from time to time, if totalling less than €760 a year, is exempt from tax and does not have to be declared.
This can include Airbnb letting and there is a similar rule relating to long-term letting of part of your home as someone’s home, where the rent must be within certain low ceilings.
How about money from car-sharing schemes - is it declarable?
Again the answer is possibly, depending on the circumstances.
The general rule is that if you are doing it on a non-profit basis, to help cover your own expenses in making the journey, and you factor in a part of the cost for yourself, then the money is not declarable or taxable.
The amount asked for should not exceed the usual barême kilométrique used by the tax office with regard to travel costs. A simulator for the latter can be found online.
If any of these factors do not apply then the income is declarable under the micro-BIC regime.
For more on how to make your French income tax declaration this spring see our help guide to French Income Tax 2021. Declarations are now open.
French income tax declaration dates