Will I still owe French income tax despite my instalments?

In the August small business and tax advice Connexion column, a reader's question on paying income tax in France is answered.

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Will I still have tax to pay despite paying instalments?

I have been paying income tax on a regular basis in the form of instalments from my bank account. Does that mean there will be nothing more to pay when the avis d’impôt arrives in summer?

Your avis d’impôt should be available from late July / early August in your personal space at impots.gouv.fr. You will also receive a paper avis around the same time, unless you opted not to receive this. The dates of sending the paper avis may vary up to September 7 at the latest.

Even if you have been paying instalments based on estimates of previous income there may still be some tax owing if the assessment of all of your income for the year as declared this spring results in additional tax due on top of the total amount from these. Alternatively it is possible a refund could be due, or that you have paid exactly the right amount. The avis will clarify. The same also applies if people have been directly paying tax at source on French incomes using an averaged-out rate.

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If a reimbursement is due because the instalments amounted to more than your definitive tax bill (taking account of reductions and tax credits etc), then it may already have been paid into your bank account. If not you should receive it by August 7.

For people who did not communicate bank details to the tax office, a cheque will be sent. If you have extra tax payable, then this will be due by September 25 if it is equal to or less than €300, or in four instalments if it is more than this (on September 25, October 26, November 26 and December 28). These payments are now automatically taken from your bank account.

Note that if you ever need to update your bank details, you can do it in your personal space at the tax website, under Gérer mon prélèvement à la source. The details in this section will be used for any levies or for reimbursements and updates will take effect from the following calendar month. Alternatively you can contact the tax service on 0809 401 401 (non-premium rate number).

Questions about tax? Email them to news@connexionfrance.com.

This column is sponsored by Olaf Muscat Baron who is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Accountants UK, a French expert comptable and an International tax advisor. He is the principal accountant of Fiscaly, an accountancy firm based in the Dordogne which serves individuals and businesses in or out of France. Please note that Fiscaly is only able to answer queries if retained on an advisory basis. See www.fiscaly.fr or call 09 81 09 00 15.