Does everyone in France need to complete an income tax return?

Deadlines to complete declaration fall in May or June this year

The French authorities tax declaration site opened in April

Reader Question: Does everyone have to declare their income in France? I am pretty sure that mine is low enough not to pay tax.

Your level of income makes no difference – indeed according to the Finance Ministry the obligation to declare applies even if it is zero.

This relates to worldwide income if you are a fiscal resident of France and to certain French 

income, often from property, for non-fiscal residents. Precise rules depend on tax treaties. 

Read more: How long before French home is deemed main residence?

Income taxed ‘at-source’ must also be declared.

The obligation dates from the ‘Declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen of 1789’, which includes the principle of consent to be taxed. 

It applies to anyone aged 18 or over in the tax year who is not ‘attached’ to another tax household, eg. some students and dependent disabled people might be ‘attached’.

Since 2019, there has been one exception to this, the ‘automatic’ declaration. 

Those whose tax affairs are simple might be sent, on paper or online (in this case, an email alert), a document listing information already known to the tax office such as French salaries, pensions and bank account information.

Read more: Millions to receive an email from French tax officials: be sure to read it

The recipient should check this ad if there is nothing to add or change their declaration is considered to have been completed tacitly.

These are only sent to those who did not add anything in the previous year to that already pre-filled by the authorities. 

This does not apply to those who receive any overseas income. 

The Connexion publishes a digital guide ‘French Income Tax 2024’ priced at €14.50 for those who would like more information about income tax declarations in France.

It details who needs to declare what kinds of income and how, as well as reviewing deductions, tax credits etc and changes for 2024.

Read more: Online income tax declarations open in France: what’s new?