Attention Autoentrepreneurs important info re CFE

Autoentrepreneurs if you have just received a demand for CFE and you set up your business in 2009 or later, don't pay it. Write to your tax office with a copy of the "Avis" saying what date you started your business. I have just checked this with my local tax office. Here's a link from FEDAE

rather unfortunate, it sounds as though it's just the basic micro entreprise and not the AE scheme - which most fonctionnaires are not trained in, or weren't to begin with so it's not surprising. Shame because everything has been very clearly laid out on the AE site from the word go with no need to go and see anybody, I'm in my third year now and have never seen anyone but have had to make so many phone calls at the outset as nobody knes shat they were doing! Better luck next time!

Well some idiot at the place where you go to sign up said the forfait was better and as one does when young and trusting, he did just that. Fonctionnaires are a world apart - in other countries we call it corruption - tricking the unwary!

that's the beauty of the AE scheme - you don't pay the forfait, you just pay according to what you actually earn - if it's nothing, you pay nothing ;-)

Not totally relevant to your discussion but if anyone who is already employed decided to set up as an entrepreneur before giving up their job - be very very careful. My son did the paperwork to set up a business because he was out of work but kept getting offers to do work on the 'black' but then he got a good job offer nd took it.

He ended up payng tax on both and paying for 2 medical mutuelles. He has had to pay €900 tax on the 'business' which he never got going and never earned a penny but he had gone for the 'forfait' which had been suggested as preferable to the real figures. Just be very careful about the consequences. He was landed with paying the self emàployed 'forfait' tax bill for the whole year even though he had asked them to disregard his initial request even before he had the documents and status!

It's taken him a year to get the whole thing sorted out including the two different caisse maladie - the normal Secu one and the one for the self employed both refusing all his requests for reimbursement.

Latest from Le Figaro re proposal to make AEs get their accounts certified by an accountant or a Centre de Gestion as the president of Fedae says "It's insulting for AEs because it accuses them of under declaring their turnover. It's discriminatory compared to other régimes who can claim a deduction for accountancy or Centre de Gestion fees, which AEs can't. It won't work,which fraudster would be stupid enough to declare income derived from working on the black? Monsieur de Courson who is unaware that there are 900,000 AEs, should have better things to do than stifling AEs with misguided administrative charges: such as proposing a new method for calculating the CFE which is the subject of much debate at the moment"

Thanks Andrew. I will have a look into it. I am sure our accountant must know about it aswell. Funnily enough we have had 3 taxe foncieres on our house this year as my husband, although EI received his through too. So 4 taxes in total including the taxe habitation - oh joy! I will also find our local sie and talk to them.

Thanks again and I think luck will be needed!

Hi Ciara, I'm not an accountant just an autoentrepreneur like many others here. I've been translating for agencies across Europe and have never had to bother about TVA as I'm not registered for it. But I recently signed a contract with a company in Romania who insisted I have an intracommunitary VAT number - I checked and yes technically it's the case:

but no one seems to be bothering about it. i haven't as yet done any work on this new contract and so don't know how it'll work but the sie (services des impôts des entreprises) who gave me the number explained that it didn't change anything here in France and it was just for the people the other end and that there would be an online eu declaration to fill out for each transaction. now how that'd work for you I'm not sure - speak to your local sie for more advice or just keep trading in ignorant bliss! I've explained a bit about CFE above - it replaced the taxe professionnelle and yes it is on top of the taxe foncière - you're effectively taxed twice on the same property, three times infact if it's where you live and you pay taxe d'habitation as well - French taxes...!!! Autoentrpreneurs are exonerated, from paying the cfe, for the first three years of activity.

Bonne chance ;-)

Hi Andrew, I purchase a lot of stuff from th UK and sell things to companies in the UK. Please could you clarify that when I purchase things over there I will not pay the VAT there and vice versa - do I charge VAT for the things that I sell over there? Also, what is the sie? And the CFE is? I have received a taxe fonciere bill for the business which was set up last year as an AE - is this what you mean?

Many thanks in advance


aie aie aie. If you've got a big house and know someone who's got a small one (cheap taxe foncière), move your registered business address to there, you can even keep your home address for correspondants no problem, it just changes the last few numbers of your siret number (I've gone from 00016 to 00024 to 00032!). when in Rome... ;-)

Ah, I see well the amount they wanted off me was a fifth of my turnover...

Hi Wendy,

Yes the three years exonertion goes way too quickly - I'll be paying too next year but I'm not sur where you get the 1/5 of turnover figure as the CFE is based on the theoretical rental value (part of the taxe foncière) of the business' address and should be between 200 and 2000 euros - could be 1% or 100% of turnover depending on the business. Having said this perhaps there will be enough lobbying to continue exoneration as so many AEs turn over peanuts and will stop trading rather than trading at a loss!

for info:

And here's the relevant paragraphe:

Après la période d’exonération, l’auto-entrepreneur devient redevable de la CET dans les mêmes conditions que les autres entreprises :

  • concernant la CFE, son montant varie selon la valeur locative des biens fonciers utilisés par l’auto-entreprise. Une cotisation minimale est exigée et sa base d’imposition est fixée par le conseil municipal (entre 200 et 2 000 €)

Just to update everyone, I received a letter this morning from my local tax office stating that I don't have to pay!!! However, I'm going to sign up to pay monthly next year, so I don't get a dirty great bill. I think it's disgraceful that we are effectively paying Taxe Foncière twice, I expect a lot of AE's are like me, they work at home and have no separate office or business premises and the rate is exorbitant: one fifth of turnover...

Hi Tracy

I haven't used it as yet, only just been given it - simply ask for it at your local sie. I've been translating for various agencies around europe and further afield but have never been asked for one until a Romanian agency asked me to sign a new contract for collaboration on a future project and they explained that...(according to EU VAT legislation currently in force, starting 1 January 2010, you are required to register as a VAT payer before rendering services to foreign customers. For further details, please see

and they're right but nobody seems to know about it (like you and me) but the sie were more than up to speed and confirmed that it was just for invoices outside France and that it would be for the company/person receiving the service/goods to deal with but apparently it needs to be declared by the person supplying the service too... I'll tell you more if the project happens and I have to actually go through the process! I won't be changing anything for other clients until asked to do so!!

I hope that helps (perhaps I will look into tots to travel if this gets too complicated, oh no that wouldn't change anything as I'd be invoicing someone outside France anyway!)

@ +


Hi Andrew,

Have seen this but am not really sure what use it is. I am prof lib and have mainly non - french clients in and outside the EU. Please could you give me an idea how it is of use?

You're right Wendy, and Tracy - just seen your reply, - I started in 2009 and have just received mine but it clearly states I have nothing to pay - wasn't that easy last year - it took me ages explaining to the tax office how the system works but I persevered until they backed down!

General comment and I'm not being condescending but these things must be a nightmare if you're not fluent, more than fluent for that matter...!

For info - just been given my numéro TVA intracommunautaire if anyone's interested in trading outside france but within the european union - no hassle and it doesn't mean you have to register for TVA within France.

Hi, Wendy is correct, you don't have to pay.

Go to the Hotel des Impots with all your bits of paper, your best French or a French speaking friend and insist they sort it out. Too many functionaires hear a foreign accent and immediately assume you don't know what you are talking about, we received the bills last year, paid them but then got the money back.

Have a read of this, it's not often you hear the Impots say, 'Madame, vous avez raison' a small victory but it took determination to get there but I persevered because I knew I was right.

My business partner who handles our accounts and taxes contacted the tax office last year about this explaining the date of set up etc, but no joy. We were informed that regardless we would have to pay and so we did.As did other French friends with their own businesses.

I have passed your link onto her but am not too optimistic, thank you though for the information.