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French tax system - what are my obligations?


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Hi everyone, I am hoping that somebody out there will be able to explain to me in SIMPLE terms what my obligations are regarding the French tax system. I have been living in France for just over a year, but until recently I have been working for British companies in their overseas offices and was paid/taxed via the British system. However, this January, I have just begun working for a French company for the first time, and I intend to continue working for French companies for the rest of my life now that I am happy in France and finally set up on the French social security system (which seemed to happen all by itself - my employer appears to have produced a French social security number out of nowhere for me!)

My knowledge of anything administrative or tax-related is basically non-existent (as you can probably tell already) as I have never taken any interest in it before and never needed to worry about it until now - while working for British companies, tax was automatically deducted from my monthly wages and I never needed to do anything about it myself... and it was just fine that way... LOL. However, after reading various websites like this one, it appears that France don't do it this way.

So, what I would like to know is...

- As I only begun working under the French system 1 month ago, do I need to declare anything at this point in time or can I sit "tranquille" chez moi without having to do anything official until next year?

- When the time comes for me to make my first tax declaration, will I automatically receive notification of this in the post, or do I need to go and get the forms myself? If there is action required on my part, where to I get the necessary paperwork from and how do I go about "registering" so the tax office know that I exist? I take it that being set up on the social security system is not sufficient for the tax office to know that I exist and to automatically send me my first form?

- Once I've done my first declaration, will I automatically receive notification from this point onwards when it's time to make another declaration for the following year?

A huge thank you to anyone who can explain what needs to be done. Much I love France and the French way of life, the one thing I can't stand is their obsession with paperwork! I've managed to get out of doing anything official so far, with the exception of opening a bank account and being interviewed for my job, both of which were an administrative nightmare when it came to proving my address as the apartment I live in is in my boyfriend's name, but got there eventually. I've heard talk of France planning on changing their tax system so it'll be more like the British one, where individuals don't need to do anything as the tax just gets automatically taken out of one's wages - is this true?

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If you were living in France during last year, then you were resident there for tax purposes.  That means you will have to complete a tax declaration for 2006, but as you paid tax in the UK, you'll be credited for this and you won't have to pay any French tax on that income.  If you have any income other than salary, eg savings interest or dividends, then you will have to declare it and pay social charges.  You will need to visit your tax office in April and ask them for a tax declaration form.  Your new French employer should be able to help you complete the forms. 

From this point onwards, your French employer will notify the tax office of your details and you will automatically receive a tax declaration in April 2008 covering the tax year Jan-Dec 2007.  The declaration will be pre-completed with your salary details and you just add in any other income or relief claims as applicable.  Then you sign it and post it to your tax office.  Same again the following year.

Much simpler than doing a UK tax return.  No administrative nightmare, no obsession with paperwork.....


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