Back to Tax......another question from a baffled rookie

Having asked for advice on Impot sur le revenu before, I feel a bit of an idiot asking for more…

My wife and I made our first Declaration last year at the local Tax office, taking our P60s and a printout of our HMCE statement for information. We’re both 'OAP’s and get Public Service Pensions as well, otherwise we have no supplementary income of any kind to declare.

The kind fonctionnaire grabbed our documents and filled in the forms for us in our presence and declared herself satisfied. I seem to recall her saying we would get an acknowledgement of receipt or a copy, but I may be wrong. Whether she did or didn’t we eventually got a tax bill which we paid at the office late last year, but we never had a copy of the declaration, neither did we get the code necessary to set up a personal account with the Min of Fin on-line.

I’ve been to the local office twice to request the code, but they say (with what looks like genuine puzzlement) that one hasn’t been issued and they are very sorry, we shall have to wait till later this year (2018) when we get our next demand.

This seems a pretty dismal state of affairs. I want to see my last declaration, because I have a feeling that our UK gross income may have been entered into the Declaration, rather than the net income. As we are both taxed already on our gross UK income in UK, I can’t see why we shouldn’t be taxed on just our gross income here in France. We paid over Euro 1 200 last year here in France. I don’t mind paying tax here, but I don’t like being taxed twice.


(1) Has anyone else had a problem with the issue of the code needed to get on-line at and what was the issue about it?

(2) Does the local tax office have access to our last declaration and is it reasonable to ask for a copy to be made available to us for our records?

(3) Is my beef abut being taxed twice on my public service pension income legit, or are my wires somehow crossed?

Many thanks in advance of any replies!


I don’t know about 1 and 3 but your local tax office should be clued-up about and able to print out your tax status, payments etc even if it doesn’t look like the declaration d’impot form. I have used such a print-out as justification of income for things like university grants, it was a couple of years ago now but I expect they will still give them out if you explain you need it.

1 Yes. You get the necessary teledeclarant number on your declaration form you receive the year after your first declaration. I had to go through this procedure again after I separated from my husband because the number I used before was apparently a joint one. No way would they provide it to me before that declaration came through (I had to do a manual return for a year).

2 Probably and it will be on your impots account as soon as you set it up.

3 You don’t get taxed twice on your public service pension. They do enter the gross amount and any French tax that is generated by doing that is cancelled out with a credit. On the declaration, the amount is entered into two boxes, one of which designates it as already having been taxed in the UK and this is what generates the tax credit. If they don’t do this part then you could pay tax accidentally but you should be able to claim it back if you get proof of that and point out their mistake.

Your state pension is taxable in France, not in the UK so you should arrange that this is paid gross by the UK (you can still claim the tax back if you didn’t do that and tax was deducted). The public service pension will push that and any other French taxable income up into the correct tax bracket so with this in mind, is it possible that the 1200 euros is the tax due on the state pensions?

What exactly was the tax bill for? You should make sure it didn’t include CSG and CRDS as these aren’t payable on your pension income. Normally you get an avis d’impots back and that shows exactly where they’ve put all your income and what you owe in taxes and social charges. If you didn’t receive that you should be able to get a copy from the tax office.

Assuming you’ve registered for healthcare with a UK S1, did you inform that tax office that you have this? If not, you could have erroneously been charged social charges on your pension income (CSG, CRDS etc).

Have you completed the Form France-Individual yet If you live permanently in France and you have been issued with a french tax reference number, you should complete this form (in both French and English) and take it to your French tax office who will certify ot. The English version is sent by yoou to your UK tax office and the French tax office keep the French version.
If you have paid too much UK tax, you can claim it back from HMRC but after that, under the double taxation treaty, your Govt pensions will be considered for tax after application of the free pay limit (2017/2018 - £11.500 each) but the State Pensions will not be taxed in the UK but must be declared in France. Any tax you have you paid on your UK Govt pensions (as also the amount received) must be declared in France and has been said elsewhere, will be taken into account when assessing your liability to tax in France. The French tax form allows you to enter the relevant amounts .
But in essence, until you have your French tax reference number, you will not be able to complete the Form France-Individual and so will not be considered eligible for tyhe correct tax treatment.
The Form France-individual is downloadable from the UK HMRC website.
The form is downloadable here

Just to add, you can check your French tax situation on this site.

You say you paid tax in France last year. I assume you received an “avis” (demand) informing you what you owed - normally your references are in a box on the left side of the front page , and you can use them to set up your “espace particulier” on www. On there you can find your past paperwork under “consulter”.
As has been said you should not pay any “contributions sociales” on any of your income and the public service pensions * are exempt from french income tax. A rough check on the tax you should have paid can be done as follows ;
Add all your pensions together and deduct 10% (or 3700€ , whichever is less ) then apply the following : Net total x 0.14 - 2746 = gross notional tax .
Then gross notional tax X net government pensions / total net pensions = tax credit.
Notional tax - tax credit = tax due. If this is just about 1200€ your tax was correct ; if widely different , it wasn’t. If this is the case you should go to the tax office and say that you wish to file a “reclamation” , and show them the figures.
If you are paying tax on your state pensions in the UK , then as has been said you can download form “France Individual” from the HMRC site and complete it and take it to the tax office to get it signed and then send the english part to HMRC. Keep a copy.

Interestingly, the list suggests that an NHS pension (paid by the Paymaster General - which AFAIK mine is) is non Govt but last time I checked with HMRC, they told me that my NHS pension is Govt.
Admittedly, I did leave the NHS 30 years ago so my last employer perhaps was counted as ‘local authority’ but hey, I’m not going to argue as I think I’m better off this way. Neither of our govt pensions achieve the heady limits of the free pay limit so we don’t pay UK tax on them so get a better tax outcome by them only being assessed for tax in France along with our UK State pensions (IMHO).

I seem to remember that with NHS pension it depends on the paying body. Some are public and some aren’t.

Patrick the teledeclarant number needed to create an online account isn’t on the avis but on the paper declaration forms you receive after you’ve made the first declaration. There is no way around having to wait for this according to my tax office.

Yes Debra , you are right , I just took another look at mine and it is so. The OP will have to go to the tax office.

I tried that when I had to wait and do a manual return after separating from my ex (they said the existing teledeclarant number was joint so I had to wait for a new one) and they still wouldn’t give me it - had to wait for the declaration. It was most frustrating as I was in the habit of checking the online account for documents and hadn’t downloaded them all. To my relief, when I eventually got the declaration through and ‘created’ my account, all the old info was still there and all the documents accessible.

I still have a problem though in that where I own property that is still in joint names, they issue the bill to my ex using his as the main fiscal number (just because he’s the man, obviously, since I’m the majority owner) so although I can see a bill and print it and even pay it when it’s due - I can’t set up a prelevement for it, monthly or annual. I’ve managed to get the local tax office to change it so it’s billed under my fiscal number for my house here in the Charente but I can’t get the one in the Dordogne to do it for a leisure property there so I’ll have to remember to get online and watch out for it and pay it each year. If I don’t get to it in time they take payment out of an old joint account that’s been closed for years now - and the stupid bank reopen the bank account, despite all the prelevements being closed since before the account was closed.

I’ve emailed them lots via secure messaging and the only reply I get is to call into their office, which isn’t easy when it’s a couple of hours away and I have a child in school.

A quick response to all who offer clarifications and useful information: I am very grateful again for it all. Many of you have had to cope with much more complex and vexing issues than us, and it’s not just that you are knowledgeable that counts, it’s the positivity and encouraging way you all offer help that lifts the spirits and lightens the way.

I popped along to the local office this afternoon just before it closed and found it echoingly empty, which was unusual,l but nice because I was seen straight away. My request for a print-out was met immediately, and once more I was reassured that not getting the necessary ‘code’ to set up and access our on-line dossier was due to a system upgrade earlier in the year, and ‘normale’ (with a sweet reassuring smile when I confessed to worrying about having my dossier marked ‘nuisible’).

I was reassured that an access code will probably be issued when we visit the Office in early April to make our next declaration, and I’ll relate what happens after that.

It looks as if we are paying what is due on our joint income here in France, and I shall see if I am due a rebate in UK by going through the channels recommended above, using the suggested form. A very welcome tip, and the link to HMRC kindly supplied. :grinning:

You’ll get a declaration form through the post and that will have your teledeclarant number on it. With that and the references from your avis d’impots, you’ll be able to set up an online account and can do your declaration online. It’s simpler than doing it on paper as it only directs you to the parts you need to fill out.

Won’t most people have to do it on line next year? I read somewhere that the threshold for having to do so has dropped quite low now. I will certainly be doing mine online, it’s so much easier.

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Yep you’ll need an online account to make your declaration this year if your RFR is more than 16,000€ and you have internet access (which all of you here obviously do!). Next year everyone with internet access will be required to declare on line.

Compulsory Online Declaration (Limits) - 2018 / 2019

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Before anyone goes into free-fall about declaring on-line… there is a certain tolerance envisaged.

There is a phrase on the Government site which clearly states…that if it is impossible for you to declare on-line (no internet or bad connection)… or you feel “incapable” of doing so… you can continue with the paper declaration. However, you must advise your Tax folk (without delay) that this is what you will need to do.

I can think of a number of French and Brits who, (due to great age or whatever) really do not have sufficient grasp… and who would be more comfortable doing the paper-declaration. (Which ever way you Declare, the Tax folk will always be available to help.)

On retrouve même un texte où le fisc indique que : “si vous estimez ne pas être en mesure de le faire, vous pouvez continuer à utiliser une déclaration papier” ce qui laisse à penser une certaine tolérance. En revanche, les contribuables doivent informer en amont le fisc du fait qu’ils n’ont pas la possibilité d’accéder à internet.


@Graham_Lees I owe you a huge debt of gratitude for detailed advice you gave me in March about claiming a tax refund on my pensions.

I was a bit dubious about my eligibility but, following your guidance, I got the form on-line, together with the detailed instructions on filling it in, got it verified at the local Direction Générale office, and posted it off with P60s, fingers crossed.

Today I got notification of a change in tax code from my Teachers’ Pension fund, and was told I was due a refund next payment time. With hopes raised and pulse racing I went to my HMR page on-line, and got the welcome news that a cheque was on its way, for a sizeable sum.

Thanks again, Graham, and a bouquet too for SFN for making possible this info-resource of kindly and knowledgeable types who make a real difference to immigrants in their country of choice. And isn"t the internet amazing?


Glad to have been of help Peter.
Drinks are on you then :relaxed:

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A friend of mine - with considerable personal wealth gained at his own hand - told me never to trust anyone else with the management of your money.
Sage advice.
I developed a spreadsheet to monitor our 4 pensions indicating what is due and what is actually paid and then translating that to Euro equivalent for those paid in Sterling (added to the payments made in Euro) to make the job of completing the annual French tax return an absolute breeze.
Religiously updating the spreadsheet monthly from sight of the relevant bank statements (which I always print out) allows me to keep on top of things and flag up any discrepancies in short order which is how I discovered the same issue as Peter’s but far sooner.

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Bien sûr vieux ! 2 caisses de grands crus dématérialisés sont à tout instant en route vers ta boite de reception. Santé ! :grapes::grin:

Merci bien!