All employees can claim an allowance for professional expenses, which is either automatically applied by the tax office at 10% of the income or according to the actual real expenses submitted with the tax return if these are higher.
The latter involves an option for frais réels (real expenses) for the whole declaration and completing dedicated boxes on the main 2042 form/online boxes.
In the case of frais réels for a car, motorbike or scooter you use to go to work, you can take into account all the kilométrage if you live 40km or less from work.
If you live further away, you may claim up to 40km, or more if you attach a note explaining the reason for working so far away. You can also deduct costs of using your car for work.
If using frais réels and your employer pays you any transport expenses, these sums should be added to your declared salary. You can deduct: Actual costs – vehicle depreciation, maintenance, fuel, repairs, insurance, parking – but you need to keep full proof (receipts) of all of these for three years, or use a fixed calculation, called le barème kilométrique.
The tax office has a tool for this at:
You are entitled to add to this péage tolls and parking costs and, if the car was bought on credit, you can deduct annual interest, pro-rata work use/private use. Using the barême does not mean you should not keep paperwork and the tax office could ask to see repair or maintenance bills showing evidence of kilométrage.
If you are self-employed, you can claim real travel expenses if you are under the frais réel system (this does not apply to workers using the micro systems).
However, it may be best to claim by the barème to avoid potential liability to taxe sur les véhicules de sociétés.
This question was answered by Olaf Muscat Baron who is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Accountants UK, a French expert comptable and an International tax advisor.
He is the principal accountant of Fiscaly, an accountancy firm based in the Dordogne.
See www.fiscaly.fr or call 09 81 09 00 15
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