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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering going to work in France and I have been told that income tax in France is paid in the year after it is earnt and salaries are paid Gross of tax. Is this right?

Someone also told me they had left France without paying some of the tax they, legally speaking, should have paid. How can that work and surely the authoriies would chase you for it?

Does anyone have any ideas on this?
 

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Hi and welcome to the Forum.

What you've been told is sort of right. Salaries are paid gross of tax but net of "cotisations" (equivalent to UK NI 'cept you get more for them) which you should reckon about 25%-ish of gross gross.

There is no PAYE here, so you do an annual tax declaration in June-ish for your household's whole worldwide income for the previous calendar year (worry not - most places have treaties in place so you don't get taxed twice). It's unlikely anyone will tell you how much income tax is due because it's a function of all sorts of things which are considered "private" by the French, but there are some simulators on the impots.gouv.fr website to give you an idea if you plug in the numbers. In general, it's a wise move to put away a percentage - say 30% unless you're a really high earner - into a tax-free savings account such as a Livret A (one per person) - poxy interest but better than nothing - to pay the tax bill which will arrive around August-ish after your June-ish declaration (for the previous year's income).

Also on the summer Avis d'Impot will be an RFR (Revenu Fiscale de Reference) which will be used to reduce - if applicable - your Taxe d'Habitation for the current year. The TdH bill arrives October-ish to the occupants of any property as at 01.01 of any given year (even if you've moved since, you'll be charged TdH for the property you were in as at 01.01).

I also understand people have fled these shores with monies due to the State - not something we would encourage or endorse, but each person has only their own conscience to answer to and it's up to The State if they want to pursue. I wouldn't chance it, but each to their own ....

Hope that helps a bit, but do carry on asking questions if you think we can help with anything else. We don't all agree and we're not necessarily professionals, but we all speak/write in good faith based on our experiences or perceptions.

hils
 
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Hils has given you the most important bits. Yes, I've heard of those who flee France without settling up their last tax bill. Given the timing of the tax events, I suppose it's figured into the "cost of doing business" in the tax realm. On the other hand, don't forget that the banks in France report all your activity to the Banque de France - and probably also to the Fisc. At the end of the year, your bank will send you a form indicating all the relevant figures (interest earned in taxable accounts, earnings on investment accounts, etc.) along with exactly which box on the form each figure goes into. If you've filed a declaration for the prior year, this information should be pre-printed on your declaration form, so you're not actually getting away with much - especially if you leave your bank accounts open on departure from France.

And, if you return, you'll probably find that computers never forget these sorts of things.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is really helpful....thanks very much!

It is a very different way of doing things compared to the UK where it's all taken before you even see it! Presumably then it is down to each person to put aside money each month to prepare for the bill when it comes?

As for fleeing the country it just sounded a very strange thing to even be possible...especially for a country that has such a deficit but perhaps that is why! I can't imagine why someone would risk doing it if that meant never being able to go back and live in the coutnry again....very short-term
 

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I believe some employers will, by agreement of course, retain a proportion of your monthly salary as a way of saving for your eventual tax bill, a sort of unofficial PAYE scheme.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just spoke with the person who told me they had left without paying taxes and it seems they did pay normally but only in their final year, simply left without doing their declaration for the year. He is now worried that he would be caught if he went back...even on holiday....I guess that is something him and his conscience will have to deal with!
 

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I just spoke with the person who told me they had left without paying taxes and it seems they did pay normally but only in their final year, simply left without doing their declaration for the year. He is now worried that he would be caught if he went back...even on holiday....I guess that is something him and his conscience will have to deal with!
Well indeed.

btw - we're assuming you're going to rent, and btw the TdH includes your telly licence - Redevance Audiovisuelle (or some such), applicable, ie payable, if you have ANY equipment capable of receiving television or audio signals (even if you never use it).

But, if you're buying, you'll also need to calculate in the Taxe Fonciere. Can tell you more if relevant to you.
 

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Haven't heard of any French employers offering to withhold taxes over and above the cotisations. The idea has been suggested every so often, but the French really don't want to get involved in their employees' "personal" tax situations and I'd be surprised to find one who did.

OTOH, the way the taxes work, when you get your first tax bill, you have the option to pay that quarterly or monthly for some period of time (I think it's over 10 months - but I'm not sure). At the end of that period, you continue to make monthly (or quarterly) payments based on your actual taxes due in that first tax bill for the remaining period until the second tax bill comes out and after that, the amount due is adjusted to reflect your new tax liability. You're always a year behind, but you never have to pay everything up at once.

The system obviously doesn't take "short timers" into account. They probably won't hassle you if you come back to France on a holiday. But the moment you return on a resident basis, they will probably "remind" you of any overdue amounts you "forgot."
Cheers,
Bev
 

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That is really helpful....thanks very much!

It is a very different way of doing things compared to the UK where it's all taken before you even see it! Presumably then it is down to each person to put aside money each month to prepare for the bill when it comes?
Of course if you're self-employed in the UK it's a similar system to France, you fill in your tax form once a year and get billed for the tax you owe.

PAYE wouldn't work in France because tax is calculated per household, so if you had three people all doing the same job and getting the same salary but one was married with no kids and a wife not earning, one was single, and one was married with two kids and a wife earning megabucks, their tax bills would be very different.
 
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