What changes in France in 2024 for money, tax and banking?

We look at the new banking regulations, property declarations and tax bands

The popular Livret A bank account will remain at 3% interest throughout 2024

Banking regulations, property declarations, and tax bands will all undergo changes in 2024. We look at what to expect from the coming year.

French pensions and benefits rise

French basic pensions will rise 5.2% from January, as will the Aspa pension top-up benefit (however the first payment at this rate will be in February).

Benefits from Caf, whether RSA, prime d’activité, AAH disability benefit, or allocations familiales will rise 4.6% in April.

RSA: new obligations

New obligations begin for people claiming RSA income support, a benefit which helps people with low income.

They will now be expected to devote at least 15 hours a week to activities which help them find work, such as training and attending sessions to help them apply for jobs.

They must also register with the new France Travail service, which replaces Pôle Emploi (see below).

Some people who receive the RSA are exempt from this, such as single parents looking after young children who have no childcare, and disabled people or those who are unwell.

Change for jobseekers

Jobseekers will now be registered with a body called France Travail, the new name for a revamped version of the Pôle Emploi service.

Read more: France sets its sights on full employment

Property ownership declaration

New last year, the Biens immobiliers declaration is still relevant in 2024 if you have bought property since last year’s declaration, or changed the use of your property, or rented it to new tenants.

These changes will probably have to be declared before June 30, as originally planned last year (though moved back after technical difficulties), though you do not need to wait. If you have sold the property, there is nothing to do.

As before, the best way is to create a personal account at impots.gouv.fr and use the Biens immobiliers section inside that.

Typically, details of your property should already be there, and it is a question of checking and validating it.

The key factor in 2024 will be how the property was being used on January 1, 2024, the date when liability to the local property taxes arises on properties.

If you struggle with the procedure, contact your tax office (or the tax office where your property is situated if you are outside France) or a branch of France Services (france-services.gouv.fr), or (inside France) call 0809 401 401.

The tax office for non-residents can help with issues over setting up an account; also search our website for the many 2023 articles about this.

Last year the tax services were lenient over the possible €150 fine for non-completion of this, but they may not be this year.

Inheritance challenge

Several people, including a Connexion reader who was the first, have challenged the French 2021 law on forced inheritance, which affects Britons in France who want to leave their estate under UK or US inheritance law rules.

News on the European Commission’s decision over this should be imminent.

Read more: EU decision on France’s inheritance law pushed back to February

Taxe d’habitation and taxe foncière

As of 2023, taxe d’habitation is only levied on second homes.

If you live in a ‘sought after’ or ‘touristy’ area deemed to suffer housing pressures, watch out for a possible increase this year, as thousands of additional communes obtained the right to levy a surcharge on this tax as of 2024.

If you are unsure whether this will apply to your bill, ask your mairie.

Taxe foncière is likely to rise this year by at least 3.9% in line with inflation (local councils can also further increase – or in a few cases lower – the overall bill if they wish).

Read more: Explainer: France’s taxe d’habitation property tax

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

UK state pensions

There are question marks over the future of the voluntary class 2 NICs payment system, which many people in France use to ‘top up’ their future right to a UK state pension are being ended.

Announcements are expected on this in 2024, however the system is expected to continue as usual for the UK financial year 2024-2025.

There has also been the removal of the Lifetime Allowance from pensions, but both the Lump Sum Allowance (LSA) and Lump Sum and Death Benefit Allowance (LSDBA) will come into force from April 6.

However, this may change once more, with Labour (currently the Opposition party) pledging to re-introduce the Lifetime Allowance if they come into power, and a General Election must be held within the next 12 months in the UK.

Interest-free mortgage loans continue

The prêt à taux zéro interest-free loan, originally to have been ended by 2024, is now being continued until 2027.

This year it will provide up to €100,000 as opposed to €80,000 before, it will also be available to more people, with the income ceilings to access it being raised, and more areas of the country concerned.

Read more: Interest-free property loans to be available to more buyers in France

Livret A

The popular tax-free savings account Livret A will remain at 3% interest through this year.

The savings account is regulated by the government, who manage the interests rates tied to the account. It is offered by most banks.

Read more: France will keep Livret A savings rate the same for next 18 months

HSBC customers move to new bank

People with high street bank accounts with HSBC are having their accounts moved to a new bank called 'Crédit Commercial de France', which has bought the British bank’s European retail banking operations.

New savings account

A new regulated savings plan for under-21s is to be launched this year. Savings in the plan d’épargne avenir climat, or climate future savings plan, will be invested in sectors involved in ‘ecological transition’.

The account will have the same ceiling as the popular Livret A regulated savings account (€22,950) and, like the Livret A, be exempt from tax and social charges.

However, it will not have an interest rate fixed by the government but rather a rate that fluctuates, depending on the success of the investments.

It will be “doubtless more attractive” than the Livret A (currently 3% interest), said the economy minister.

Changes for UK pension lump sums

There are changes coming relating to UK pension lump sum allowances, expected to be announced later in the year.

The UK state pension is expected to rise to £221.17/week in April, from the current £203.85.

Capital gains tax proposal

French MP Daniel Labaronne told The Connexion he hopes in the spring to reintroduce his idea of a year-long, or perhaps longer, removal of capital gains tax on second homes.

The idea was to encourage people who have houses they do not use, to sell them in order to free up more housing for families struggling to buy.

He said a housing bill in 2024 would present an opportunity to re-present the plan, which was rejected as an amendment to the 2024 finance bill.

Read more: French MP seeks new way to pause second-home sales capital gains tax

No changes for furnished rental properties

One proposal that was rejected concerned the taxation of short-term furnished holiday lets.

Ministers said these should be toughened in 2024, notably, removing the possibility for certain holiday lets to benefit from a 71% micro-BIC expenses allowance, instead of the usual 50% for long-term furnished lets, and a high micro regime ceiling of €176,200 instead of €72,600.

A proposal by the Senate on the matter was ‘mistakenly’ included in the 2024 finances bill, however the government said it would not be implemented, and a cross-party committee will look at potential changes in detail early next year.

Read more: Confusion over French holiday lets after tax rules tightened in error

Income tax bands

The income tax bands applied to your 2023 income, declared in May-June 2024 will be:

  • 0% up to €11,294;
  • 11% up to €28,797
  • 30% up to €82,341
  • 41% up to €177,106
  • 45% above €177,106