You must declare for tax in France even if nothing to pay

The annual deadlines for declaration are staggered by department and begin next week

Residents in France must declare their income every year even if there is no tax to pay
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Did you know that everyone resident in France must submit a tax return, even if you have no tax to pay, and you risk sanctions if you do not declare in time?

Rob Kay, Senior Partner at Blevins Franks, told The Connexion that he recommends those in France address their tax return as early as possible as it can get complicated if you earn income from a variety of sources and/or abroad.

You may have supplementary forms to fill in, depending on from where your income originates, and list all your non-French bank accounts, or life insurance policies on the Cerfa 3916 form, even if you did not earn income or gains from them.

If your property wealth exceeds the €1.3million threshold, you may also need to complete a real estate wealth tax return.

Read also: How long before French home is deemed main residence?
Read also: How does income tax season in France differ to other countries? 

How can I submit my return?

You can submit your return by logging in to your tax account at or on the official smartphone app impots.gouv.

What is the deadline?

The deadline depends on the department in which you are resident.

The deadlines this year are:

  • Departments 01 (Ain) to 19 (Corrèze): May 23, 2024 at midnight. This is also the deadline for non-residents who have received taxable income from French sources in France.

  • Departments from 20 (Corse-du-Sud) to 54 (Meurthe-et-Moselle): May 30, 2024 before midnight.

  • Departments from 55 (Meuse) to 976 (Mayotte): June 6, 2024 at midnight

Read also: Does everyone in France need to complete an income tax return? 
Read also: Stay alert: French tax officials show examples of tax fraud emails 

Sanctions for non-filing

Even if you do not owe any tax, sanctions and consequences for non-filing apply.

These include:

  • Possible reduction in CAF and benefits assistance. If you do not declare, you will not receive a tax notice or an Asdir (Avis de situation déclarative à l'impôt sur le revenu), which are essential documents for claiming benefits such as RSA, family allowances, or APL (housing benefit).

  • No refund of tax credits. If a return is not filed, you will not receive refunds for eligible tax credits (e.g. union membership, childcare costs, etc.).

  • Loss of LEP eligibility. You will no longer be able to open a Livret d'Epargne Populaire (LEP) savings account, as this saving limit is dependent on your tax return. If the bank is not able to check this document, you will not be able to proceed.

If you do owe tax, you will also be subject to financial penalties. 

These include:

  • If you file before receiving formal notice from tax authorities: Your bill will increase by 10%

  • If the file within 30 days of the formal notice: The extra amount rises to 20%

  • If you file after the 30-day period: The extra amount rises to 40% 

If authorities discover that the taxpayer is engaged in a concealed activity (undeclared work or illegal activity), the financial penalty can rise to 80%. 

This increase is accompanied by interest on arrears.

Some taxpayers are eligible for the ‘automatic return’ (déclaration automatique), but you must still submit your form. You can simply submit the pre-filled form if you do not have any changes to make.

Need help with tax in France? The Connexion publishes a helpguide, Income Tax in France 2024 (for 2023 income). This digital guide reviews declarable income including pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest, as well as tips on how to lower your tax bill and costs €14.50. See more information here.