Some readers who have received emails claiming to be from the French tax service, informing them to expect money shortly, have asked if the emails are genuine.
It is almost certain that in the cases we have heard of they are and are related to receiving France’s €100 indemnité inflation.
This is a one-off bonus from the state for taxpayers in France who have incomes of less than €2,000 net per month (or €24,000/year) and is aimed at helping people manage with general rises in everyday goods due to inflation and increased fuel costs.
It is payable to eligible people whether or not they have a car and is paid individually rather than per household.
The bonus has been paid to different groups of people at different dates. Employed workers and state employees should have already received it if they meet the income criteria.
People whose income sources are from French taxable sources abroad, such as UK state pensions, are expected to receive this money as bank transfers this Friday (February 4), as long as the tax office has their bank details (if not, cheques will be sent out).
A December government decree confirms that people who are tax residents in France and only receive, in terms of salaries, pensions or other regular ongoing payments, incomes from abroad that are taxable in France, are eligible for the inflation bonus to be paid to them via the central tax services, the DGFiP.
If, on the other hand, they have French salaries, pensions, welfare benefits etc, they would receive the payment from the French bodies concerned (employers, pension caisses etc).
DGFiP stands for Délégation Générale des Finances Publiques, which is a branch of the Finance Ministry, responsible for tax.
The DGFIP confirmed to The Connexion it has indeed been sending out emails in recent days to those concerned, letting them know to expect the money this week.
If you are eligible for the payment it will show on your bank statement as INDEM.INFLATION.
It is tax free and does not need to be declared on your French income tax declaration.
Tax office issues warning over email scams
Note that the DGFiP does indeed warn on its impots.gouv.fr website, to be vigilant about scams.
However, firstly, we have seen recipients reporting that their emails end in @dgfip.finances.gouv.fr
This is a first good sign, as it is the official address for emails from the tax service.
Scam emails usually come from other addresses, such as dgfip-info-gouv.com or dgfip-impots.fr. So, if the address ends in something other than @dgfip.finances.gouv.fr, even if the email claims to come from the DGFiP, it is fraudulent.
Secondly, scam emails have a goal of obtaining information from you. They do not just tell you to expect money without requesting action, such as clicking on a link, asking you to provide an identity document or account or bank card details etc.
The tax service never sends unsolicited emails of this kind asking for such elements.
If you do, however, receive a fraudulent email, do not click on any links and delete it from your email account.
If in doubt, you can also contact your tax office to check that the email and/or your entitlement to the payment, is genuine. If you have an account at impots.gouv.fr we suggest using the messaging service inside your personal space.
Emails being sent out by the tax service inform recipients of who to contact if they believe they are not in fact entitled to the money, or have in fact already had it, for example due to French incomes, so as to pay it back. A specific section in the Particulier area of impots.gouv.fr will open in early February with more information about this.
If, on the other hand, you think you are eligible and you do not receive anything by mid-February you should also contact your tax office about this.