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How can I check that my French income tax bill is correct?

We look at how avis d’impôt statements are presented and what the main terms mean

A reader asks how to check that their French tax bill is correct Pic: fizkes / Shutterstock

Reader Question: Your tax guide explains how to declare but can you detail how to check your avis d’impôt is correct and is there an English translation?

In order to check that your tax bill is correct, you need to understand how it is calculated. 

Here we look at the way your income tax bills are worked out, which we cover in more depth in our annual guide on this subject.

French income tax for residents is calculated based on the combined total income of a household rather than on an individual basis. 

The total household income is divided by the number of parts (person units) within it. Each adult counts as one part, the first two dependent children as 0.5 and any other dependent children as one, for example.

Once you have determined your overall income, there are reductions which are applied, such as professional costs relating to transport, work clothes etc. 

When these have been deducted, there may be abattements spéciaux (special reductions) applied depending on your situation, for example age, disability, means etc.

You then divide your taxable income after reductions by the number of parts in your household, and the resulting figure will give you the amount to be taxed.

Tax should then be applied to this at: 

  • 0% up to €10,225 

  • 11% for €10,226-€26,070 

  • 30% for €27,071-€74,545

  • 41% for €74,546-€160,336

  • 45% for €160,336 or more 

You then multiply the resulting figure back up by the number of parts. This means that the lower bands are proportionally applied to more of the income than would otherwise have been the case.

These bands will change slightly in 2023. You can read about the new thresholds here: 

Read more: Changing tax bands in France: How much could you save in 2023?

You would need to work out a rough estimate of how much income tax you owe in order to determine whether your bill is right or not. 

It will be useful to check your avis against that of last year – unless your circumstances have changed drastically – as if it shows a similar figures, it is likely to be correct. 

Key figures to check include your revenu fiscal de référence (net taxable income) and the impôt net (net tax bill), however the latter will probably be subject to some tax ‘at source’ paid during the year (or estimated instalments for some kinds of income). 

So, check finally that the amount shown as retenue à la source (taken at source) looks correct, and the total amount remaining to be paid. Your amount taken at source can also be found in your online account at impots.gouv.fr under Gérer mon prélèvement à la source.

Your previous bills can also be found in your account if you manage your taxes online. 

If anything stands out as strange this year, you can contact your local tax office, either in person or via message from your online account.

The Connexion is not aware of any available English translation of French tax bills. You can of course pay a translator to put the document into English for you, but this should not be necessary if you know what the terms above mean. 

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