What fine for late French income tax declaration and how to limit it

You must act fast if you have not declared your 2023 revenue

A view of the impots.gouv.fr French tax website
It is mandatory to make a tax declaration even if you have nothing to declare

The deadline to declare your 2023 income has passed in all areas of France, and people who have not made their declaration will soon be exposed to penalties. We explain how this is calculated and how you can still avoid paying if you act fast.

France’s income tax deadline dates are staggered across the country’s 96 departments in groups of alphabetical order.

The first deadline to pass was for paper declarations on May 21 at midnight. 

For online declarations, the deadlines were:

Departments 01 (Ain) to 19 (Corrèze): May 23, 2024 at midnight, which was also the deadline for non-residents with taxable income from 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 more: 2023 Taxe d'habitation overcharges: Check your French property tax bills for potential refunds

What if you have not declared?

It is mandatory to make a tax declaration even if you have nothing to declare.

Failure to declare on time can result in the tax authorities sending you formal notice to pay via a mise en demeure letter. These letters are sent 30 days after the tax deadline has passed.

A mise en demeure also results in an automatic 40% penalty on top of your taxes.

However, if you declare your taxes prior to receipt of this formal notice, you will only have to pay a 10% penalty on top of your taxes.

This 10% penalty also applies if you are found to have made a mistake on your declaration that reduces your tax liability.

However, in cases where the tax authorities discover hidden revenue, they can apply an 80% penalty.

Furthermore, late declarations are also subject to an interest charge of 0.2% per month starting in July. 

This means that if you declare your 2023 revenue in December 2024 (six months late) you will have to pay 1.2% (6 x 0.2) interest on top of the taxes due and any penalty charge.

You can make a late declaration in your online space until June 26, or by using paper form Cerfa 2042, available here.

Note that if outside circumstances (such as illness) were to blame for your late declaration, you could avoid a fine.

If this is the case, send a message along with supporting information to the tax authorities in your personal space on impots.gouv.fr as soon as possible or contact your local tax office.

Read more: French Income Tax 2024: When will tax statements arrive? 

Correction service to open

While the deadline for making a tax declaration has closed, a tax declaration correction service will allow people to change their declaration.

This service will be available on impots.gouv.fr from July 31 to December 4 by clicking on Accéder à la correction en ligne.

Note that this service can result in you having to pay interest on top of the taxes, due to late payment, however it can help you avoid a fine for false declaration.