State v Government pension on tax forms

Hi - looking for some advice from all you clever folks out there!

I started receiving a (pathetic little) teaching pension middle of last year. I understand it is taxable in the UK, not here.

I also understand from reading many posts on here and other sites, that the French tax authorities can be unclear of the difference between State pension (ie everyone who contributed gets one) - which is taxable in France, and Government pension (Education, health, police etc) - which is taxed in the UK.

How do I make sure that it is clear on the tax forms?

Which boxes do I need to put the amounts in?

Is it worth visiting a tax expert? Are there any English-speaking ones? I donā€™t fancy my chances of trying to explain this to the centre des impots!!

Thanks in advance.

The distinction between the two pensions is very straightforward and covered in any basic guide to filling in a French tax form.
I presume you are only receiving a ā€˜pathetic littleā€™ pension because that is what corresponds to your years of service and contributions. Most people complain that teachersā€™ pensions are too generous. :slight_smile:

Your local Income Tax Office will be very pleased to help and advise you. You need have no concerns, even if your French is only basic (or worse). :wink:

All income is declarable in France , whether or not you have already paid Tax in UKā€¦ If France reckons you have not paid enough Tax (wherever)ā€¦ they will charge you the difference.

Pathetic compared to those of other countries.


As 2017 will (presumably) be your first Declaration in Franceā€¦ you will need to make your Declaration in person, at your local Tax Officesā€¦

They will help to make sure that info is entered in the correct sectionsā€¦(just remember to take all necessary documents/info concerning all and any income you received during 2016ā€¦ and your passport as identificationā€¦)

I am sure someone will chip in with the other documents you will need to takeā€¦

You donā€™t literally have to present yourself to them in person do you? I agree itā€™s a good idea, to sit down with them and go through the form - in which case, take every related piece of paper you can find - but you donā€™t have to, if youā€™re confident you know what youā€™re doing or have someone else to help you, you can just download the forms, fill them in and and drop them off in the box without seeing anybody, canā€™t you? You only need to prove your ID if you want to discuss your tax affairs.

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Hi Annaā€¦

Our Tax Office gave me a very reasonable reason for wanting to see first-time Declarants face to face. This allows them to verify that the Declarant actually exists and helps to avoid fraud.

Note, I am not saying incorrect Declarations, they definitely used the words ā€œDĆ©clarant frauduleuxā€ā€¦the personā€¦

In most areas special arrangements are made for non-French speaking folk to be helpedā€¦ The Staff are there to advise what forms should be used and how they should be completedā€¦any verification documents that may be neededā€¦ etc etcā€¦

You will need to prove your identity (and all your information) when you make this first Declaration. In following yearsā€¦once you are ā€œon their booksā€ā€¦ things will become easierā€¦ and you can declare by post or on-line.

The First-time is the most important !

Ooops. I just put my first one in the box, since I only had a very tiny amount of overseas income to declare, no French income, and the Connexion guide explained exactly what to do. But they processed it, no queries. The year after I had French income so I had a chat with them.

Iā€™m sure they were very relieved to discover that you are a real person :wink:

Stella you do make me giggle sometimes! You must live in some kind of French nirvana. Lucky you!

Andā€¦as Anna has already mentioned - you most definitely DO NOT need to go to your local tax office to make your first declaration. Your first one currently needs to be a paper one but after that is all plain sailing online :slight_smile:

Simonā€¦ (at least I do not reduce you to tears :wink:)

I find it fascinating living in a country that has such a different mind-set to UK (in so many ways)ā€¦and I make a point of talking with everyone I meet and come into contact withā€¦asking how things are done, asking why they are doneā€¦ etc etcā€¦

I have very rarely come across a negative reaction to my approachā€¦quite the oppositeā€¦ folk seem keen to explain the whyā€™s and whereforeā€™s.

I have reported here what was explained to me/us at our Local Tax Officesā€¦about 2 years agoā€¦ .I had accompanied some new arrivalsā€¦and the Staff were most helpful and happy to discuss and answer our questionsā€¦ one of which was the ā€œdo we really need to come in personā€ :innocent:

For several years now, specific days are offered, when non-French are invited to attend and multi-lingual staff (to a degree) are available to help with Tax Declarations. If this does not happen in your areaā€¦that is a bit of a shameā€¦ as it can be so useful.

Everyone is free to make their own choice on how they do thingsā€¦I am merely reporting what our Tax Office has said. :heart_eyes:

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since you now tell us you have lived here for over 10 years ā€¦this will not (presumably) be your first Income Tax Return in Franceā€¦

However, if you are still unclear what to put where on this yearā€™s Formā€¦ I suggest you do visit your local Tax Office and ask them.

Hi Stella - I donā€™t think I ever said it was my first tax return, just the first time Iā€™ve had to add the teaching pension. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post with your advice.

Hello Stella, newbie here. I have a question - if we moved to France permanently in August when would we have to make Tax declarations?

The following May.


Hi Michael

The Financial Year (here in France) is 1st January to 31st December.

I would suggest you go along to your Tax Office and have an initial discussion about your financial situation early next Springā€¦Official Declarations are made in May.

Years agoā€¦ we arrived in Julyā€¦ went the next Spring to make a Declarationā€¦ and were toldā€¦ come back when you have been here the full Financial Year. I was so concernedā€¦ .so anxious to do the right thingā€¦ that the gentleman took my details anyway (just to keep me quiet perhaps, who knowsā€¦).

Anywayā€¦ the office folk are there to helpā€¦ always a good idea to chat things throughā€¦just to be sure you are on the right trackā€¦ being late with a Declaration is something to avoidā€¦:wink:

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Not sure that is quite correct David.
I would say if August 2017 then first return will be May (according to Dept) 2019

I agree with David.
Income during calendar year 2017 (i.e. in Michaelā€™s case, between his date of arrival in August 2017 through to 31 Dec 2017) has to be declared in the 2018 tax exercise. Why would it not?
The 2019 tax exercise is for income between 1.1.18 and 31.1.18. If you tack 2017 income onto that, you risk nudging yourself into a higher tax bracket.

Iā€™m quietly confident that @Michael_Colson will be trotting along to his local Tax Office in the early springā€¦ :grin:

Can you provide proof for your opinion? New residents are liable for tax from the day that they take up residency. e.g. Anyone who becomes a resident on 1st August pays tax in France from the period of their arrival until 31st December the same year. This income is declared on their first tax return made in May the following year. If they arrive in 2017 their first tax return is made in 2018. Why do you think that they would skip a year?