Tax 2021 (2020 income)

Not long to go before it’s necessary to complete your tax returns for France.
Last year, things became a bit “bitty” as SFers insisted on starting new threads for every question they had so it would help if there was some discipline this year to avoid repetitions :grin:
To start off the thread, here’s a link to the 2021 official FR Gouv calcul de l’impôt sur les revenues site for you test out what your likely bill is going to be…
Just select whether the simified format or the full wax…

@james is it possible/desireable to make this a sticky until the tax cycle is done and dealt with?


Hi. New to the forum and to France so I apologise in advance for the naivety of the following questions. I’m fairly familiar with how U.K. tax system works, but didn’t want to presume the same (I know it won’t) will apply to France.
We only arrived here on the 16th December 2020. Do we fill in a tax return for the final 2 weeks of 2020 or do the French authorities need to know about income from the whole of 2020?
I know the French authorities need to know about global bank accounts held, but I don’t know if international fintech accounts should be put through U.K. tax or French tax after 17/12?
Any assistance on nothing tax related and any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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When we first arrived… I insisted on doing a Declaration of Global Income… here in France, at the first opportunity… (even though it had nothing much on it…)

That document has helped establish just how long we have been here…

Strikes me that you are seeking the “CdS with agreement” which will offer you a slightly better deal than those who arrive after 31/12/20…

So, if you can (???) it might be an idea to submit your Declaration in 2021 (and, yes, Global Income 2020 is what counts)… but I really don’t know how this works these days.

Yonks ago… I managed to see a “real person” and that made things easy, once I’d c onvinced him that I really did want to do it and get into the system straight away…

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Should have said Hello and Welcome… sorry @Smithereen5


Hi Paul,
Welcome to the forum.

I don’t have the definitive rules but my experience is,
Arrived July 2019, took some holiday and started ‘full-time employed position’ 1st Oct 2019 as a French ‘PAYE’ employee of a French company.
Went to the tax office and explained the above.
They weren’t interested in anything pre-arrival, not interested in July-Sept 2019. Just declare the salary from 1 Oct 2019 and pay the bills.
That may not be the strict rules but in face-to-face that’s what they were happy to implement so that’s what we did.


wasn’t it wonderful when we could talk with real people… made things so much easier…

by Global… I mean “everything” for the period which applies, don’t pick and choose what you might wish to declare in UK… and then say… oh well, I’ve declared that to UK so I don’t need to declare in France… that is a black hole so many folk fall into… aaargh.

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Hi and welcome to the forum @Smithereen5
I believe you can certainly make an initial “incomplete year” return but is it still the case that your first return has to be on paper?
Have HMRC been advised of your permanent move to France?
As for Fintech accounts, the best advice is to declare them in France on form 3916. Better safe than sorry and it’s very easy to do.


When we arrived… we had to list what accounts we had currently open… and where… and what kind…
and they certainly asked what date said account had been opened (?) not easy to pin down when at least one was opened yonks ago…

subsequently we added or deleted from that list.

So… not sure they need to know every single detail since you were old enough to put your sixpence away each week… :rofl:

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That’s exactly my understanding too. In your shoes I think I would quietly forget accounts I had years ago - of course with advancing age, one’s menory is not what it was :rofl:


Hi @Smithereen5 . My experience when I “arrived” in November 2016 was that the special advisor for Brits that they had at our local tax office told me to fill it in as from the date of arrival. I did and was most embarassed to receive an energy cheque a bit later because my income was clearly very low :smiley:
When I went back to the tax office a few months later to sort out a problem with tax fonciere the (different) advisor then told me I should have filled it in for the whole year, but by then of course it was too late and I decided to stick with the senior chap’s advice!

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Hi all. Thanks for the warm welcome and all the advice. I’ll go to the local tax office first, but it sounds like a paper return for first year. The declaration of global income and the list of accounts sounds interesting as I’m a serial abuser of financial products! Wish me luck.
I’ve told HMRC, though they didn’t seem bothered as I’m self-assessment and the bulk of my income originates in the U.K. All they said was that I was to use online accountancy software to submit tax (which I’m familiar with) and indicate when I’d left the U.K. Just as a point of interest (possibly stretching definitions there), HMRC have an app so I was able to add French address online. What fun! Thanks again everyone.

Hi Graham, now we’ve been to the CPAM, I’ll be off on my fist visit to the tax office / fisc and as a cross border worker / frontalier will be reaching out for info e.g. what can be deducted from UK salary declared in France , UK tax forms etc.

Now I can ask here, but wonder as these queries remain for all time, and not just for 2021 I’m thinking of starting a thread for cross border tax - we’ve done the cross border health one to death!

What do you think?

Why not. As you say, it’s a specialist area and will soon get lost in the tsunami of general questions on tax submissions likely to follow before long…

From Droit-Finances publication.

Went down the tax office today, as you do to get out in these covid times. Well, we went to two - the first turned out to be for fines, I haven’t graduated to that level yet.

At the proper office, welcomed in by security, and a very helpful person handed us the paper forms, said he’d call me next week about how to declare the UK salary, photocopied the s1’s but seemed not to know the significance (we only deal with taxes here not health they said - at least that’s what my french brain imagined they said). (UK salary comments I shall post in the cross border tax thread).

Anyway for declaring bank accounts they (again I think) said put down everything, and I got the impression he said yes including pension accounts. Expressed amazement I’d have hundreds of these - said just write them down on a piece of paper and hand in with your forms.

So a reality check - is that the general approach, coz I’m sure I remember some form exists for that very purpose; - and specifically

what to do about the ‘app platform’ investments which don’t have account numbers, I’m talking the likes of Chip and Moneybox. As has been mentioned, ‘esoteric financial investments’ - unfortunately (well, for the next 10 minutes) no bitcoins. Mind you, sterling seems to be turning into something similar?

The form you are thinking of is French Tax form 3916 but others have said that a piece of paper with the details on has been accepted in the past. When it comes time to declare online - its difficult to post the paper through your computer screen but the 3916 form is readily available through the declaration process - indeed it prompts you to it (and it remembers what you declared last time to make subsequent declaratons easier).

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Do continue to attach a copy of your S1 to your tax return? I’m not sure how it works for salaried workers, but for pensioners it also exempts you from paying social charges on their pension income. And because in France you generally pay things and argue about mistakes afterwards we are still trying to get back a year’s payment that they charged in error…

When we arrived we had just over 50 different accounts between us - which caused the nice person at the tax office to have hysterics. It seems this is a very English thing to do as we chop and change to follow interest rates. We have now got it down to a more “reasonable” 20.

We have some peer to peer lending, and we just stuck the details in. Since the fine for undeclared accounts is so high we felt better to err on aide of caution.

IIRC, there’s a section in the on-line version to indicate the existence of an S1 - so that base is (hopefully) covered.

Sage advice :+1:

Thanks for these info’s. FYI yes, UK earnings paying NI contributions result in a S1 if deemed cross border worker - same basis as pension - only one SS system can be paid into / applied to someone when exercising EU free movement. Good to know about the tick box for next year!

@JaneJones - Jane, a query! I presume you supplied your 50 odd account list on paper in your first paper declaration. Did these the appear in your further online declarations - i.e. did someone from the tax office type them all in?

If not, did you have to type them all in the next year, coz there’s stuff out there that having declared them all once, don’t have to do it each year, just for new accounts? (but ensure agreement with tax office).

I’m assuming there isn’t functionality to bulk / batch upload hundreds of account records.

Jane will give you a steer on that one but I can certainly say that,once you have put the accounts in on-line, they do copy across from year to year - at least they have for me! Somehow, I doubt that the tax office people will enter them in from the hardcopy on though! According to the information I have, you can now enter your first tax return on line rather than on paper if you ask for a tax number first :thinking: