Useful French vocab for your tax declaration

France’s income tax deadlines are approaching for 2023 income

The French income tax declaration deadlines are in May and June
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People living in France on a settled basis or living abroad but with French income such as rents must make an income declaration to France – it has to be done in French, so it is worth knowing key vocabulary.

If you have not done so yet, the time has come around again to make your declaration, by deadline dates from May 23 to June 6, depending on your department of France (for non-residents it is May 23).

Unless you are a first-time declarant or you cannot use the internet, you will probably be completing this formality online – in your espace personnel (personal space) at the website

Once you click to declare – déclarer – this year, if you are a property owner, the first thing you will see is a reminder about updating la situation d'occupation des biens dont vous êtes propriétaire (the way in which properties which you own are used/occupied).

This refers to the new (as of last year) declaration which is completed in a section of your personal space headed ‘Biens immobiliers’ (real estate). If you already completed it with regard to any French properties you own last year and nothing has changed, you do not need to do anything.

Read more: What changes require you to make a new property declaration? 

Here we have compiled a list of some of the other key vocabulary. For more about French income tax, see our annual help guide.

The basics

Some basic terms which you are likely to need to know include:

Impôt sur le revenu – income tax

Déclaration de revenus – income declaration (completed annually in the spring, for the previous year’s income)

Prélèvement à la source – tax-at-source. France taxes at source regular French incomes such as salaries and pensions, and takes estimated instalments monthly or three-monthly from people’s bank accounts with regard to other known incomes such as property income or foreign pensions of French residents. An annual declaration is nonetheless needed, to make sure all relevant tax has been paid, or to calculate refunds if appropriate.

Prélèvements sociaux – social charges; the main ones are CGS and CRDS

Acomptes – the term for the instalments some people pay

Foyer fiscal - Your ‘tax household’. This refers to married and civil partners and their dependent children (or disabled adults) who make a joint declaration. Dependents are called personnes à charge.

Quotient familial – this is a system which allocates a certain number of ‘parts’, which varies on the size of the family, and helps lower the tax bill for those with more family responsibilities. For example, a family of three earning the same as a single person will pay less tax on this income, to account for their greater needs. 

Avis d’impôt / avis d'imposition - a statement sent in late summer after declaration, showing taxable income and tax payable and social charges payable on it.

Célibataire/veuf/pacsé/marié/divorcé - single, widowed, in a French civil partnership (or equivalent), married, divorced

Some kinds of income you may need to declare include….

Revenus fonciers - income from land and unfurnished renting of property

Revenus de capitaux mobiliers – income from investments, such as dividends

Location meublée – Furnished rental

Salaire – salary

Plus-value – a capital gain

Pension de la fonction publique – a ‘government’ pension, paid because you worked as a civil servant or similar public sector job

You may also want to declare charges – this refers to expenses that can be claimed as deductions from taxable income

Other useful terms include

Avis de situation déclarative à l’impôt (Asdir) – an estimate of tax liability received after making an online declaration. For those with no tax payable it replaces the avis d’impôt.

Crédit d’impôt – tax credit (a lessening in tax which can include money paid back to you if the benefit of the credit is more than your tax due); a réduction d’impôt is similar but no excess amount can be paid back.

Service des impôts des particuliers non résidents – non-residents’ tax service (particulier means a member of the public, eg. as opposed to a company).

Frais réels – Real work-related costs which, as an option, employees can claim as a deduction instead of the set 10% (you need to keep receipts).

Rattachement – the system of ‘attaching’ an adult child, such as a student, to your tax household, instead of them declaring on their own.