There are a number of ways to pay your tax liability in France: by cheque, by TIP, by direct debit or online… So make sure you avoid those late payment penalties and don’t forget, to register for monthly payments for your liabilities payable for next year, the deadline is around the 15th of December of the previous year.
1. By cheque. You can send a cheque made payable to “Trésor Public” using the detachable TIP section at the bottom of the demand (do not sign or write anything on this detachable section when paying by cheque) and the envelope provided. This will be cashed in upon receipt.
2. By TIP (authorising the authorities’ bank to take the money from your French bank account in lieu of writing a cheque). To do so, you need to detach and sign/date the detachable section of the demand where indicated and forward this to the authorities using the envelope provided. The first time you pay by TIP, you will also need to join the relevant bank details (RIB). However, subsequently, the bank details should appear on the TIP and all that would be required would be a signature. Should you wish to change bank account, the new RIB should be sent in the next time you want to pay in this way. Payment will be taken upon receipt.
3. Online. You can pay your taxes online via the impots website. You need to have your tax reference to hand as well as the reference of the demand itself and your French bank details. Your bank account will normally be debited 10 days after the payment deadline. The first time that you pay in this way, you will receive an email with an authorisation form to complete and send to your bank. Subsequent payments made online (from the same bank account) will not require this.
4. By direct debit. Income tax, taxe d’habitation (including TV licence if applicable), taxes foncières and cotisation foncière des entreprises (local business tax) can be paid in this way. The payment due will be taken from your bank account 10 days after the payment deadline shown on the demand. This can be set up via the website French tax website or by written request to the relevant authorities. Please note that if you choose this method of payment for your income tax liability, your social surcharges liability (CSG/CRDS etc) will also be paid directly from the same bank account, and the details/confirmation of this should appear on the related demand. You can opt out of this automatic payment procedure should you wish by contacting the relevant authorities.
5. By monthly direct debits. Income tax, taxe d’habitation (including TV licence if applicable), taxes foncières and cotisation foncière des entreprises can be spread out in order to ease cash flow. The payments would be based on the prior year’s charge and spread out equally over the first 10 months of the year with any balancing amounts payable in November (and potentially December). Payments would be taken on the 15th of each month from your French bank account. You can register for this online via French tax website. If you opt for monthly instalments for your income tax liability, your social surcharges liability will be taken in one payment from the same bank account and the details/confirmation of this should appear on the demand. You can opt out of this automatic payment procedure should you wish by contacting the relevant authorities.
Remember that in order to register for monthly payments for your liabilities payable in year you would need to register by the 15th of December of the year before.
Note: Penalties for late payment vary, depending on the tax. For income tax, taxes foncières, taxe d’habitation, social surcharges and, wealth tax (from 2012) the penalties are 10%. For the cotisation foncière des enterprises (and prior to 2012, wealth tax), the penalty is 5%, plus 0.4% interest per late month. Additional penalties and procedures can be applied for continued non-payment of liabilities.
•With thanks to La Belle Vie, Tax, Property & Translation services, Guernsey
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information only. They should not be acted upon without first obtaining independent professional advice, specific to the taxpayer’s personal situation. Neither the author nor the La Belle Vie (Guernsey) Limited can accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, expense or liability howsoever incurred by you and following any action taken, or omitted to be taken, in reliance upon the contents of this article.