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Have you completed your tax returns in France?

By Katriona Murray-Platon - Topics: France, French Tax Changes, Tax in France
This article is published on: 3rd June 2022

The tax season is almost over! Those of you living in departments numbered 55 to 976 still have until 8th June at 11.59 pm to submit your tax return online or if you have engaged an accountancy firm to do your tax return they also have another week or so to submit any returns. I would not advise trying to contact an accountancy firm at the moment because they are very busy and they won’t be able to start working on your tax return until the deadline has passed. The best thing is to have a go at it yourself and then correct it later in the year. Your initial return, submitted by the deadline, will result in a tax statement. If you decide to amend the return, you will get an initial tax statement and then later an amended tax statement.
Once you have done your tax return you can expect to receive your tax statement as follows:
  • If you submitted it online and you have paid too much tax or exactly what is owed you will receive your statement between 25th July and 5th August.
  • If you submitted by post and you have paid too much tax you will get your statement between 29th July and 31st August;
  • If you submitted your tax return by post but you have paid exactly the right amount of tax you will get your statement between 2nd August and 31st August;
  • If you submitted online but there is still tax to pay you will get your statement between 29th July and 5th August,
  • If you submitted on paper and there is tax for you to pay you will get your statement between 5th August and 26th August.

If you have paid too much tax you should get the reimbursement around these periods. If you have tax to pay it should be taken from your bank account automatically. If not you have until 20th September to pay online. The money won’t be taken out of your account until 26th September. If you owe more than €300 tax, this amount will be taken in four payments between 26th September and 27th December 2022. If the amount due is less than or equal to €300 then this amount will be taken out in one payment on 26th September. Please remember that during September the 9th instalment of your monthly payment of income tax will be taken on 15th September, so you may have two tax payments in September (and in the following months if you owe more than €300).

Tax in France

A situation was brought to my attention about Capital Gains Tax on the main residence when you leave France. There was a court case in 2017 which reached the French Constitutional Court regarding the exemption from capital gains tax for the main residence. Whereas a French resident may vacate his/her main residence and has 12 months to sell it for it still to benefit from the main residence exemption, according to this decision if you are no longer French tax resident at the time of sale you lose this exemption on the capital gains.

Furthermore under Article 150 U, paragraph 2, line 2, of the French Tax Code the capital gains from the sale of a property are exempt from tax “for the sale of a property situated in France where the seller is an individual, not French resident, a national of a Member State of the European Union or another State which is part of the EEA having agreed with France an administrative assistance agreement to fight against fraud and tax evasion and provided that the person was tax resident in France continuously for at least two years at any period before the sale. The exemption mentioned in the first line of this second line applies only to one property per tax payer and up to €150,000 of net taxable capital gain, to sales carried out:
a) no later than 31st December of the fifth year following the year in which the seller ceased to be tax resident in France,
b) with no time restrictions, when the property is freely available to the seller at least since 1st January of the year before the sale”.

It is this section of the French Tax Code which could, according to some Notaires, no longer apply to British citizens selling their French properties and returning to the UK since Britain is no longer part of the EU. I have spoken to two Notaires about this and neither seemed to be bothered about it. But Notaires can take different views on things. So if you (or someone you know) are planning to sell what is currently your main residence in France and move back to the UK make sure you clarify exactly what you have to do with your local Notaire and do not move back to the UK and establish UK tax residency before the sale is complete.

After a busy month of May with many people contacting me with tax questions, I am looking forward to a more normal month of June and getting out in the sunny weather to see clients. So if you would like to arrange an appointment or need to speak to me about any matters please do get in touch!

Article by Katriona Murray-Platon

If you are based in the Poitou Charentes, Limousin & Aquitaine area you can contact Katriona at: katey.murray@spectrum-ifa.com for more information. If you are based in another area within Europe, please complete the form below and we will put a local adviser in touch with you.

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