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French Tax Return dates 2016

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 11th April 2016

The time is approaching for French residents to make their 2016 income tax declarations and there is an important change in procedure.

If your revenue fiscal de reference (taxable income) was at least €40,000 in 2014 (i.e. as declared in 2015), then you are now obliged to make an on-line declaration. The only exception to this is if your principal residence does not have an internet connection, in which case, you can still submit a paper declaration. By 2019, only on-line declarations will be possible and between now and then, the ceiling of the income limit for paper declarations will reduce each year.

On-line declarations can be made from 13th April 2016 up to the following deadlines:

• 24th May 2016 for departments 01 to 19;
• 31st May 2016 for departments 20 to 49; and
• 7th June 2016 for all other departments and non-residents.

Paper declarations, where permitted, must be submitted by 18th May 2016.

For those of you who came to live in France during 2015, then you will need to make your first French tax declaration and declare all your worldwide income and gains, but only for the period since becoming resident in 2015. To do this, you will need to collect the necessary forms from your local tax office.

Income and gains that might be tax-free in another country, for example, UK ISAs, premium bond winnings and Pension Commencement Lump Sums, must be declared, as all are taxable in France. Even for income that is taxable in another country, for example a UK government type of pension (i.e. civil service, military, police and teachers pensions, but not State pensions) and/or UK property rental income, the amount must still be reported in France and it will be taken into account in calculating your French income tax. You will then be given a tax reduction to take into account the fact that the income is taxable elsewhere.

If you have been living in France for less than 183 days in 2015, you may be thinking that you do not need to register in the French tax system. This is a myth because the time that you spend in France is not the only factor that is taken into account in determining whether or not you are resident in France. For more on this, please see my article at:

French Residency – Dispelling the Myths

If you do not register in the French tax system and you should have done, you risk a financial penalty. Never mind what that nice lady in the tax office says about you not needing to register if you have been here for less than a year – you will be liable for the fine, not her!

Are you convinced now to register in the system? If you’re still not sure, call me and with just a few questions, I will be able to tell you.

It is also obligatory to declare the existence of bank accounts and life assurance policies held outside of France, regardless of whether these accounts pay interest or if there is a zero balance in the account. The penalties for not doing so are €1,500 per account or contract, which increases to €10,000 if this is held in an uncooperative State that has not concluded an agreement with France to provide administrative assistance to exchange tax information. Furthermore, if the total value of the accounts and contracts not declared is at least €50,000, then the fine is increased to 5% of the value of the account/contract as at 31st December, if this is greater than €1,500 (€10,000 if in an uncooperative State).

No-one should ever try to second guess the Fisc or think that they can out-manoeuvre this government department. I hear some interesting stories of people being contacted and questioned about why they are not registered in the French tax system. You would be amazed at what is used to check – telephone bills, utility bills, etc., etc. How long will it be before our use of cash machines and our bank and credit card transactions in shops might be used to verify how much time we spend in France? Scary thought and actually they probably don’t need to go that far, as we can be tracked through our mobile phones and probably also our internet use.

On a final note, if anyone finds that they need to complete the pink 2047 form, this means that you have foreign income and/or gains to declare. If this is for any reason other than pension income and earnings, then perhaps you may benefit from a brief discussion to see if your financial situation can be improved by investing in something that is more tax-efficient for French residency.

If you would like to have a confidential discussion with one of our financial advisers, you can contact us by e-mail at or by telephone on 04 68 31 14 10. Alternatively, drop-by to our Friday morning clinic at our office at 2 Place du Général Leclerc, 11300 Limoux, for an initial discussion.

The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees directly to clients for their time or for advice given, as can be seen from our Client Charter at

Article by Spectrum IFA

The Spectrum IFA Group is committed to providing a professional financial advice to the expat community in Europe. The Spectrum IFA Group operates in a number of jurisdictions with 12 offices in France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal with over 50 advisers.

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