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Why have French tax officials not contacted me since my wife’s death?

An online account is often the easiest way to communicate with the tax authorities

There are certain rules which must be followed following the death of a spouse Pic: HJBC / Shutterstock

Reader Question: My wife and I completed French tax returns until she died in 2017. We had UK pension income, paid UK tax but never had a French tax liability. I have had no communication from the tax office since I told them of her death and wonder why.

Is UK pension income taxable in France?

If you live in France, usually there will not be any UK tax payable on UK pensions unless they are ‘government’ pensions, such as for retired teachers or civil servants.

After a spouse’s death, you should inform the tax office, then the next spring you declare the couple’s income to the date of the death, then for yourself alone from that date to the end of the tax year.

It is your responsibility to make annual income declarations if living in France. 

This should be done online unless you cannot do this, in which case forms can be obtained from tax offices or printed from the French tax website.

We suggest creating an online account if you have not done so. 

France Services can help you create an account – you can find your local office here.

If you have not declared out of ignorance, it is thought best to ‘own up’ to the tax office, as they are often lenient in the case of genuine mistakes.

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