Tax, dentist fees, TV sport, letters: Ten practical updates for France

We look at key announcements you may have missed

Some other changes announced in September include new La Poste services and supermarket plans to tackle ‘shrinkflation’
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1. Tax deadlines

There are deadlines for online and direct payments of the taxe foncière (property tax) in October.

People who are over 75 or who claim AAH disability benefit are exempt from paying if their income is below a certain level, as are claimants of the ASI disability benefit or Aspa pension top-up.

There is also a €100 reduction available for people aged 65-74 who meet the same modest- income criteria.

For bills of less than €300, you have until October 16 to pay by cash, cheque, bank transfer or by using a pre-filled TIPSEPA.

Bills over €300 can be paid online via smartphone or tablet. The deadline for this is midnight October 21. Bank accounts will be debited five days later.

Read more: Taxe foncière explainer: Who pays and the exemptions

2. Dental fee change

From October 1, dental surgeons’ fees and dental treatment will be reimbursed at 55% or 65% of the conventional health insurance rate, down from 70%.

Read more: French state to reduce the amount it contributes to your dental bills

It means the amount not reimbursed for scaling, cavity treatment, root canals or surgical care, and thus remaining as a patient’s out-of-pocket expense, known as ticket modérateur, will rise to between 35% and 45%.

A top-up insurance, if you have one, can cover this.

Three-to-24-year-olds can now benefit from an annual free oral check-up. This was every three years before.

Read also: Dentist shortage in France ‘is unlikely to improve for a decade’

3. Disability aid

Changes have been made to the way the disability benefit allocation aux adultes handicapés (AAH) is calculated.

This is now based solely on the resources of the person concerned if they are in a couple. Previously, it was based on the finances of both partners.

Authorities had warned that this method could lead to a loss of income, as well as financial dependence on a spouse, for people with disabilities.

Read also: Free wheelchairs do not go far enough, say French disabled groups

4. Shrinkflation ban

Manufacturers will be forced to clearly identify any products that have been reduced in size but not in price from November onwards.

The move, by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, will outlaw what she described as the shocking practice of ‘shrinkflation’ and ensure “consumers are no longer misled”.

Consumer watchdogs have long denounced the practice, which has been increasingly used as manufacturing costs have soared.

Independently of the ban, retail giant Carrefour added a label to 26 products in September that reads: “This product has seen its volume or weight fall and the effective price by the supplier rise.”

However, the supermarket has also been accused of using the practice by consumer rights group Foodwatch.

Read more: French supermarket chain puts stickers on food to show ‘shrinkflation’

5. Clothes repair

Anyone who chooses to repair their clothes, rather than throw them away, can apply for financial help under a new scheme. Repairers certified by the Refashion eco-organisation, which is piloting the project on behalf of the government, can now apply reductions of €6 to €25 to bills.

A €154million fund is available for the period 2023-28. The move is part of a reform of the textile sector and efforts to back the reuse of clothing.

Two-thirds of the 700,000 tonnes of clothing thrown away every year in France ends up in landfill sites.

Read more: France will soon begin paying part of people’s clothing repair bills

6. Papillomavirus vax

A vaccination campaign begins in October against human papillomavirus (HPV).

It will be launched in almost 7,000 secondary schools for pupils in the cinquième (aged 12-13).

It aims to prevent the 6,000 new cases of cancer and 30,000 precancerous cervical lesions caused by HPV every year.

The vaccination is free. It is not compulsory and will be carried out in agreement with parents who will receive an information kit, including a request for their authorisation.

Read more: France to roll out free vaccine for sexually transmitted infection HPV

7. Car sharing bonus

Commuters in and around Lille can still sign up for a nine-month trial seeking to ease rush-hour congestion in the Lille metropolitan area.

Anyone who decides to take public transport, telecommute or carpool will be rewarded with up to €80 a month.

The ‘ecobonus’ scheme aims to cut back on rush hour traffic on the A1 and A23 motorways.

The pioneering measure, which runs until next May, has been criticised by local ecologists, who claim it does little to significantly reduce road traffic. Around 3,000 people have signed up so far.

Read more: Lille launches scheme to pay drivers to leave car at home

8. DAZN in France

Sports fans can now enjoy a wider range of events, including the Uefa Women’s Champions League, thanks to the integration of the DAZN sports service platform into

several Canal+ packages.

They are Pack Sport+, Canal+ Sport, Friends & Family, Intégrale, and Intégrale +.

9. Red e-letter day

Postal workers can now come to people’s homes and scan their documents for La Poste’s next-day e-lettre rouge service.

The aim is to expand the service to people without their own scanning technology.

To use it, call La Poste’s 3631 helpline to request a post person to pass by the next day, or ask them during their rounds.

The e-lettre rouge replaced the timbre rouge or red stamp priority service on January 1. It costs €1.49 per email.

Read also: Slow uptake for La Poste’s new digital stamps in France

10. Pharmacy prescriptions

Chemists are now able to prescribe antibiotics for non-severe bacterial sore throats and cystitis, albeit under strict conditions. They include a test rapide d’orientation diagnostique to determine the ‘bacterial nature’ of the illness and a patient interview.

The change is aimed at easing pressure on GPs and addressing the lack of access to care in some rural areas.

Some antibiotics may be dispensed ‘pill by pill’ and not in packets to limit shortages this winter. This is not yet officially confirmed.

Read also: 16 things you can do at a French pharmacy other than buy aspirin