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What to do if you need more time to pay your tax

The cut-off date is coming up for payment of your income tax for 2017 income – however it is possible to ask for an extension, or even to be excused from paying, if you have financial difficulties.

This year any remaining income tax payable for the year 2017 is due by September 17 (or September 22, with the money debited from September 27, if paying online). However if you have cash-flow problems it is best to think ahead rather than just not missing the deadline which will result in 10% of late payment penalties on top of the bill.

If this applies to you, is a good idea to gather evidence of your financial situation, such as payslips, rent slips, bills, loan statements etc.

Firstly, if your household income (especially work or pension income) has suddenly dropped leaving you in difficulty then the tax office cannot refuse more time to pay if this drop is 30% or more as compared to what you had coming in on average in the previous two months. You will be allowed to spread out the payment in instalments until March 2020.

To report this online visit your personal space on the tax website and follow Ma messagerie sécurisée > Ecrire > J’ai un problème concernant le paiement de mes impôts > J’ai des difficultés pour payer. If you want to send a paper form you can find one with a search on the website for baisse brutale des revenus.

If this does not apply then the tax office is not obliged to allow extra time but may well do if there are good reasons such as illness, unemployment, a break-up etc. Online you should follow the same process as above, as soon as possible (and before the payment deadline). On paper you should search for form 4805-SD (entitled difficultés de paiement) or ask for it at the tax office. You will have to give details of the income and property of all members of your tax household.

If you receive a refusal or have had no reply in two months, then you must pay the tax demand in full. Otherwise further options include an appeal for help to the conciliateur fiscal for your department. You can find their details on the tax website under Contact > Particulier > Votre dossier fiscal (domicile en France) > Autres > contacter le conciliateur fiscal. (Note that if you are non-resident you should choose the domicile hors de France option in the third step to receive details of the conciliateur for non-residents.)

If you cannot pay even with extra time, you should ask for a remise gracieuse (to be excused from paying, at the tax office's discretion) either via the private message service in your personal space on the tax website, in person at the tax office or by letter. However you should provide documents giving evidence of your difficulty (completing the 4805-SD will help).

Once again, if you have no reply in two months, this may be taken as a tacit refusal. The request is unlikely to be accepted if the tax office considers that there is no good reason for the difficulty.

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