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France changes payslips to make tax declarations easier

The French Government has ordered the modification of payslips from January 1st to make it easier for people to fill out their annual tax declarations. Here's what the changes mean.

From January 1st 2022, French payslips have been simplified.
From January 1st 2022, French payslips have been simplified. Here is what you need to know. (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER / AFP)

Filing a tax return in France can be a complicated procedure – particularly when payslips are peppered with confusing acronyms like CSG, CRDS, APE and NAF. 

The French tax system is undergoing a change with the recent introduction of deduction at source (sometimes known as PAYE) for employees. 

However, for the moment most employees still have to file the annual tax declaration – even if all their taxes have already been deducted from their payslips and therefore their total tax bill is €0.

Now the French Government has passed a decree to simplify payslips and make it easier to work out how much of your income you need to declare. 

READ ALSO How to understand your French payslip

From January 1st, all French payslips must contain the following details in an easily identifiable section:

  • The amount deducted from the payment through prélèvement à la source (PAYE, or deduction at source);
  • The amount of overtime pay which is exempt from taxation; 
  • The amount of money you have earned which can still be taxed – or le montant du salaire net imposable

This last point is the most important because if you need to manually enter your earnings onto a tax return (which is the case for people declaring their earnings in France for the first time or filing their return in the post), this is the amount of taxable income you will have to declare.  

The new payslips will look something like this: 

This is the model for the new payslips introduced in France.

This is the model for the new payslips introduced in France. The impôt sur revenu box near the bottom describes how much of your work income can be taxed. Credit: legifrance.gouv.fr

When you file your tax return online, many of the fields are filled in automatically, but this new payslip makes it easier to check whether you have been taxed the right amount. 

Bear in mind that it is not just work income that is taxed in France. If you own a second home that you rent out in France, you will also need to declare these earnings.

If you live in a French property that you own, you will probably also need to pay the taxe foncière and the taxe d’habitation but these are declared separately from the annual income tax declaration. 

We have previously covered who needs to declare their income in France HERE

READ MORE

The online portal for declaring your 2021 income opens in April. 

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Income tax declaration in France: The key dates you need to know

It's tax declaration season in France and some of the key dates have changed. Here's a reminder of the ones you need to know.

Income tax declaration in France: The key dates you need to know

It is tax season in France, and pretty soon we will be approaching the deadline to file for your 2021 revenues. 

Filing by the post

For those who use the paper form and file their tax declarations via the post, the deadline, which was initially scheduled for May 19th, has been pushed back to May 31st, 2022 (at latest by 11:59pm).

This is due to the fact that some taxpayers received their 2021 tax return (pre-filled in paper format) significantly later than in previous years, an issue that concerns “a little less than 5 percent of users receiving these returns,” according to a press release by the French finance ministry. 

This should not change the dates for everyone though, as most taxpayers will file online.

READ MORE: The complete French tax calendar for 2022 – which taxes are due when?

Filing online

The deadlines for filing online déclarations have not changed. The date to declare your revenues remains based on the département you reside in. If you are a non-resident, the date is May 24th.

Tuesday, May 24th 2022 by 11:59pm: “Zone 1” (départements 1 through 19) 

Tuesday, May 31st 2022 by 11:59pm: “Zone 2” (départements 20 through 54). As mentioned previously, this is also the deadline for those filing by the post. 

Wednesday, June 8th by 11:59pm: “Zone 3” (départements 55 to 974/976)

Who has to fill one out?

Most people living in France – residents, second home owners, those working in France or employers of those working in France – need to fill out a déclaration de revenues. If you are wondering about whether you are exempted from declaring your revenues in France, here is a guide

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Who has to make a tax declaration in France in 2022?

For filling out your tax declaration, you will first and foremost need to have a numéro fiscale (tax number). The French government has recently created a guide to help foreigners with filling out their first French tax declaration, though you can always go straight to the official government tax website.

Nevertheless, if you are still struggling, you can always email the Tax4Business help desk service ([email protected]) which is run by the French government’s Public Finances Directorate (DGFiP). It is the primary point of contact for all tax related questions involving foreign nationals.

READ MORE: Ask the expert: How to fill out the 2022 French tax declaration

What should you include in your declaration?

You will need to include your salary income (which includes professional expenses, bonuses, etc), any additional income you earned on top of your salary, your pension income and/or social security payments, any income related to investment or real estate, and finally any unemployment benefits you received in the last year. If you’re worried about any bank accounts you have outside of France, here is what you need to know.

READ MORE: Reader question: Do I need to declare my non-French bank accounts?

You’ll also need to declare any changes of status – Did you get married or have a child? Did you change or lose your job? These are the types of changes you will need to note on the declaration form.

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