Mastering French Taxes: A Comprehensive Guide for English-Speaking Expats


As an English-speaking expatriate in France, understanding and complying with the French tax system is an essential part of building a successful life abroad. Navigating a foreign tax system can be complex, potentially laden with unfamiliar terms and the challenges of deciphering regulations in a new language. Being informed about your tax obligations and keeping abreast of any changes to tax rules is crucial to making the right decisions and avoiding financial penalties.

At French Connections HCB, we understand the intricacies of the French tax system and are here to support you every step of the way. Our team of experienced professionals can assist you in deciphering tax regulations, submitting the necessary paperwork and ensuring your tax obligations are efficiently managed throughout your residency in France. With the comprehensive support of French Connections HCB, you can focus on enjoying your new life in France while adhering to all tax requirements.

In this informative guide, we will explore the essential aspects of French taxation tailored to English-speaking expats in France. From income tax and wealth tax to property and inheritance tax, we will delve into the key components of the French tax landscape. With the in-depth knowledge and guidance provided by French Connections HCB, you can confidently manage your tax obligations and make informed financial decisions during your stay in France.

1. Income Tax: Declarations, Deductions and Payment

As a French resident, you are subject to French income tax on your worldwide income. Familiarising yourself with the income tax procedures is crucial in fulfilling your tax obligations:

  • Tax Declarations: Annual tax declarations must be submitted to the French tax authorities, reporting your previous year’s income and financial details. For employees, certain income and deductions may be pre-filled in the form, while self-employed individuals must provide complete details of their earnings and related expenses.
  • Tax Deductions: Understanding which deductions and tax credits apply to your situation is essential in maximising your tax efficiency. These may include provisions for pension contributions, childcare expenses, donations to non-profit organisations and energy-efficient home improvements.
  • Tax Payment: Income tax can be paid through monthly or quarterly instalments, or as a one-off payment, typically due by September. Newer regulations require income earners to pay taxes through a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, wherein taxes are automatically deducted from salaries or pensions.

French Connections HCB can guide you through the complexities of income tax declarations, ensuring all necessary details are accurately reported and optimising your tax deductions to maximise your financial benefits.

2. Wealth Tax: Impôts sur la Fortune Immobilière (IFI)

If your total net wealth exceeds a certain threshold, you may be subject to wealth tax in France:

  • IFI (Impôts sur la Fortune Immobilière): The IFI is a tax on net wealth derived from real estate assets, applicable to French residents whose total real estate assets equal or exceed €1.3 million. This wealth tax is specifically on real estate and does not include financial investments.
  • Calculation and Declaration: The IFI is calculated based on the value of your property portfolio, after deducting any outstanding loans or mortgages. Real estate wealth tax declarations are submitted along with your income tax return, usually with the same deadline.

French Connections HCB’s wealth tax expertise can help you to evaluate your property portfolio and guide you through the wealth tax declaration process, ensuring compliance with regulations and applicable deductions.

3. Property Tax: Taxe Foncière and Taxe d’Habitation

Owning or renting property in France involves the payment of property taxes, both of which have specific regulations and payment schedules:

  • Taxe Foncière: This local property tax is levied on property owners, calculated based on factors such as property type, location, and cadastral value. As a property owner, you are required to pay this tax annually, irrespective of whether the property is your primary residence or a rental property.
  • Taxe d’Habitation: This tax applies to those who reside in a French property, either as a tenant or property owner occupying the residence. The taxe d’habitation is based on factors such as property value, location, and the occupant’s income level. Recent tax reforms have gradually phased out this tax for many households; however, it remains applicable for those in higher-income brackets.

Engage French Connections HCB to demystify property taxes in France and ensure accurate declarations and timely payments for your property ownership or rental situation.

4. Inheritance Tax: Planning for Future Generations

Inheritance tax in France is levied on assets passed to beneficiaries after a person’s death. The rates and allowances vary depending on the relationship between the deceased and the heir:

  • Tax Rates and Allowances: Inheritance tax rates range from 5% to 45%, with lower rates for close relatives and higher rates for more distant or unrelated heirs. There are also allowances that grant heirs an exempt portion of the inheritance before taxation.
  • Planning Measures: It is essential to plan for inheritance tax to ensure the smooth and tax-efficient transfer of assets to your beneficiaries. Consult with a professional to explore options such as life insurance policies, property ownership structures and wills that comply with French inheritance laws.

Partner with French Connections HCB to explore inheritance tax planning measures that safeguard your legacy and financial well-being for future generations.

Navigate French Taxes with Confidence and French Connections HCB’s Expertise

Understanding and managing tax obligations in France need not be a daunting task. With the right knowledge and support from French Connections HCB, you can efficiently navigate the intricacies of the French tax system and make informed financial decisions.

Allow French Connections HCB to be your one-stop administration partner in France, offering comprehensive guidance, support and expertise in all aspects of your life, including tax compliance. Enjoy peace of mind and focus on the joys of living in France, knowing French Connections HCB, your trusted, reliable partner, manages your tax obligations.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to our free newsletter for regular admin tips, advice and updates.

Sign up to our free newsletter for regular admin tips, advice and updates.

Copyright © 2023 French Connections HCB | Pôle entreprise Labordeneuve – 32300 Idrac-Respaillès – SAS with a capital of 10 000€ | SIRET N° 88970854100020 |  Privacy Policy

Scroll to Top
A Place in the Sun Live

Manchester Central 1st - 3rd March

See us on stand FR30 - Click below to get tickets or book a live consultation with our Moving to France specialist Richard Hammond!