Parents of children studying at collège, lycée or university are entitled to a reduced income tax rate, but must signal their child’s education level in their income declarations in order to benefit.
The French tax authorities invited residents to submit their income declarations last week, and people have until the end of May or the beginning of June to complete their forms, depending on where they live.
The deadline for returning paper declarations is May 19.
For online declarations coming from departments 1 to 19, non-residents and Monaco, the deadline is May 24, while for departments 20 (Corsica) to 54 it is May 31 and for departments 55 to 976 it is June 8.
In order to make a declaration online, you must sign into your personal account on impots.gouv.fr, check any information already entered by the tax authorities and add any further details which may change the amount of tax you owe.
This is where parents of children above primary school age can benefit, as they are entitled to a reduction to compensate for the costs relating to school.
Parents can claim this discount if their child was in secondary or higher education on December 31 of the year in question. So, the child would have to have been at school or university on December 31, 2021 for 2021 income tax declared this spring.
The discount amounts to €61 for each child in collège, €153 for lycée pupils and €183 for university students, but many parents do not claim.
How to declare school or university students on the form
Parents wishing to benefit from the reduction must indicate the number of children in their household who are in secondary or higher education.
For collège pupils they must fill in box 7EA with the number of children concerned. For lycée pupils it is box 7EC and for university students it is box 7EF.
These sections appear in the ‘Vos charges’ - ‘Réductions et crédits d’impôt’ - ‘Nombre d’enfants à charge poursuivant leurs études’ part of the form.
Anyone declaring their revenues on a paper document should also fill in a 2042 RICI form, where they will find the boxes mentioned above at the top of the first page.
Parents who are separated or divorced but who have joint custody of their children can also benefit from the reductions, and both should mention their children in their declarations.
However, the amount taken off their total tax bill will be divided in two.
Bursaries for children from low-income families
As well as parents’ income tax bills, the state offers bursaries to collège and lycée pupils coming from low-income families.
However, uptake is low, suggesting that parents are not aware of the funding to which they are entitled.
To make sure that eligible people benefit from these bursaries, the tax authorities have added a link to a simulator at the bottom of this year’s income tax declarations, through which parents can determine whether or not they qualify for the funding.
To understand more about French income tax declarations download our latest helpguide, Income Tax in France 2022 (for 2021 income). As a digital, downloadable guide, priced €14.90, it was last updated on April 8. Order your copy here!