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How is 'income' defined for official procedures?

Many French formalities, such as paying to join Puma (former CMU) or applying for social security benefits, ask for your ‘income’ figure. How is this defined? B.R

The figure is often the revenu fiscal de référence as indicated on your income tax assessment. This is usually found at the end of the details on the inside pages of your assessment (avis d’impôt sur le revenu). It is sometimes also reproduced in the box on the front.

It is calculated by the tax office based on your net taxable income, give or take a few adjustments: it may be increased by the addition of certain kinds of income that were exonerated from income tax or that were subject to a fixed levy of tax at source, or certain abatement amounts or deductible expenses. The revenu fiscal de référence is used for formalities such as students applying for means-tested grants or for gaining exonerations from local property tax.

When it comes to the income for working out ‘Puma’ payments for the healthcare of early-retirees, this is a new scheme, with the first payments only payable later this year, so it is being clarified. The texts refer to ‘capital’ incomes, but this seems to be being taken as referring essentially to incomes other than from work (note that if work income goes over a certain minimum the Puma cotisation is no longer applicable). From information received from the social security authorities (see column right) Connexion understands that it is going to be essentially the revenu fiscal de référence that will be used, as was the case with CMU which it replaces (though logically it should be minus any amount for part-time work). The authorities reserve the right to apply a higher figure if your lifestyle is conspicuously luxurious compared to your declared income.

  Some official procedures use slightly different income calculations, for example certain Caf welfare benefits so you need to check case by case. As an example, RSA or ASPA income support take account of all money coming in during the previous three months, minus certain non-declarable sums (for ASPA this includes financial help received from children).

The Connexion welcomes queries and regularly publishes a selection with answers.
However, please note that we cannot enter into individual correspondence on money topics. Queries may be edited for length and style. Due to the sensitive nature of topics we do not publish full names or addresses on these pages.
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The information in  this article is of general nature. You should not act or refrain from acting on it without taking professional advice on the specific facts of your case. No liability is accepted in respect of these articles. These articles are intended only as a general guide. Nothing herein constitutes actual financial advice.

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