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Six changes for household finances coming up in France in May

The coming month sees the income tax declaration deadline for some departments, newly increased benefit payments, a continued freeze on regulated gas tariffs, a rise in the minimum wage and more

May will bring with it some money-related changes and deadlines Pic: Dragon Images / Shutterstock

May will bring with it various changes and deadlines with regards to personal finances for people in France.

From the minimum wage level (the ‘Smic in French) to income tax declarations to benefit payments, we take a look at the money changes coming up.

1. Deadline for some income tax declarations 

French tax residents are currently being invited to fill in their declarations for 2021 income.

If you are unable to make your declaration online and are completing a paper return, you must send it in by midnight on May 19. 

For online declarations the deadline depends on your region of France, so as to avoid ‘bottlenecks’ of people trying to use the French tax website. 

These deadlines are: 

  • May 24 at 23:59 for departments 1 to 19 and non-residents 
  • May 31 at 23:59 for departments 20 to 54 

Those in departments 55 and above have until June 8 to complete their returns. 

You can access the online declaration at impots.gouv.fr

Read more: How to work out if you owe French property wealth tax in 2022

Read more: Income tax declarations: parents urged to claim their discount

Read more: Tax declaration in France: what happens about my UK pensions?

To understand more about French income tax declarations download our 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

2. Get help with filling in your tax declaration 

On May 19, 20, 23, 24 and 25, it will be possible to call up an expert helpline for assistance with filling in your tax return. 

This is thanks to a scheme run by accountants in France, called Allô impôt, which is staffed by volunteers. 

The phone lines will be open between 09:00 and 18:00 on these days, apart from May 19 and 24, when they will remain in operation until 21:00.

You can call for free on 0800 06 54 32.

3. Regulated gas prices remain frozen 

France’s regulated gas tariff (le tarif réglementé du gaz) will remain unchanged in May for the seventh consecutive month.

This freeze is expected to last until the end of 2022, benefitting households which are supplied by Engie or whose bills are indexed on the regulated tariff.

Read more: Gas prices to be capped for three million households in France

Without the price cap, gas rates would have risen by around 30% by April, compared to last year.

4. Interest rates could rise on certain savings accounts 

In January, the interest rates applied to France’s regulated Livret A and Livret d’épargne populaire tax-free savings accounts was increased from 0.5-1% and from 1-2.2% respectively.

Read more: Interest rates on tax-free bank accounts in France to increase

Read more: France’s LEP tax-free savings account at 2.2% interest: Who qualifies?

However, as inflation rates remain high, France’s banking authorities could decide to put the Livret A interest rate up to 1.3% and that of the LEP up to 3.2% from May 1. 

This exceptional recalculation would come in anticipation of an automatic rise on August 1, when the two interest rates could reach 2% and 4.2% respectively.

5. First recalculated benefit payments made 

France’s Caisse nationale des allocations familiales (CAF) announced in March that all of its benefit payments would be increased by 1.8% from May 5. 

This includes allocations familiales family support, the allocation de base pour jeunes enfants child support, le complément de mode de garde childcare aid, la PreParE for full-time parents and the allocation de rentrée scolaire for the return to school (paid in August). 

The payment boost will also concern people who receive the revenu de solidarité active and the prime d’activité

Read more: France’s income support benefit set to rise: who can claim it?

Read more:  RSA: What is France’s back-to-work social benefit and who is eligible?

6. Minimum wage increase 

The French minimum wage (Smic) will rise by about €34 net per month from May 1, because of high inflation rates. 

This is because the Smic is calculated according to the indice des prix à la consommation (consumer price index), which rose 2.65% between November and March for the lowest income households, according to figures from national statistics institute Insee.

Workers on the minimum wage will now receive €1,645.58 gross or €1,302.64 net per month.

France’s Smic has increased by 5.9% (€72 net) since May 2021. 

Related articles 

Money changes for household budgets in France starting this April

Six common pitfalls financial experts see when people move to France

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