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How to apply for a ‘numéro fiscal’ for your first French tax return

You need this identification number to submit your income tax declaration online. We explain how and when you will receive it

French income tax form 2021

All French residents must file an annual income tax return Pic: Jilko/Shutterstock

Reader question: We are UK pensioners living in France. We are each under the UK threshold for tax and are not required to submit tax returns in the UK. Do we need French tax numbers and to submit returns here? How do we apply for the French tax number? 

All residents of France have to file income tax declarations (usually by around late May) for income received the previous calendar year. This is the case even if no tax is eventually due.

For the first year, you may declare on paper. The documents are available on the website of the Fisc (French tax service) impots.gouv.fr

Submitting them before the deadline will generate an assessment around August, which will contain each of your fiscal numbers. 

You should include copies of each of your identity documents when submitting the declaration.  

After this, in the second year, with either of your fiscal numbers, the net taxable income from the assessment, shown as revenu fiscal de référence, and the internet access code on the front of the paper income tax declaration forms you will receive, you will be able to create and access your space on the Fisc’s website and complete tax declarations online.

Read more: What is the FranceConnect online government service?

Otherwise, it is possible to complete steps to declare online in the first year. 

First, connect to impots.gouv.fr. Click on particulier at the top of the page on the line under the Fisc’s logo. 

As you scroll down the page, near the bottom there is black rectangle with ‘CONTACT’ in it.

Click on accéder and then in section 1, click particulier, in section 2, click l’accès à votre espace particulier, in section 3, Une difficulté pour créer votre espace particulier and in section 4, je n’ai pas de numéro fiscal.

You will find the instructions, to either go to your local tax office, send a letter, or (for non-residents) to complete an online form, including copies of your ID. The Fisc will then send you the relevant codes to create your account online.

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