Income Tax in France for Foreigners

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France is home to exquisite architecture and a rich history, though it is also home to a fairly extensive tax system. As a foreigner in a new land, it’s best to be able to go through your first few years there with as little hassles as possible. Thankfully, the tax system, and your income taxes in general, don’t have to be overly confusing.

The main tax authority for France is the Directorate General of Public Finance. This authority will basically govern how much you owe in taxes and will assess penalties if you do not pay those taxes on time. As to which exact reasons a foreigner would be subject to income tax, the first thing you need to understand is that, unlike most countries, any person who attains residency status is known as a domicile, though this is largely equivalent to the term “resident”, which is used in the majority of countries.

There are many ways in which you can be domiciled. If you have a permanent home in France, you will need to pay income taxes. Residence is largely presumed if you have spent more than 183 days of the year in France. If you perform professional activities in the country that pull in most of your income, you will be subject to income taxes. Lastly, if the majority of your assets are handled in France, then you will need to pay income taxes.

The deadline for filing your income tax return in France happens to be March 1, though the tax authorities often push this back to the end of May. The deadline can be extended if you file electronically. Filing your income tax return is rather simple, and includes the ability to either send it by mail or electronically through the tax authority’s website. You can pay by going through their online website, with direct debit, or by check.

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