How to Get a French Numero Fiscal & Open Your Online Tax Account
If it’s your first year paying taxes in France or you have recently purchased a French property, you will need to acquire a numéro fiscal (tax number) to allow you to file your tax return and pay any relevant income, property, or wealth taxes due. Here’s how to go about getting a French numéro fiscal.
What is a numéro fiscal?
Your ‘numéro fiscal’ (tax number) or numéro d’identification fiscale (NIF) is a unique 13-digit number used to identify you as a French taxpayer. Each number is unique to the taxpayer, but it will always start with a 0, 1, 2, or 3. Having anuméro fiscal is mandatory for all individuals with tax obligations in France, which includes everyone resident in France, French property owners, and everyone who receives any income in France, whether from work, rental, investments, a French pension, etc.
With your numéro fiscal, you can set up an online tax account at www.impots.gouv.fr/ from which you can file your annual French tax return and access and pay your French tax bills, including income tax, property taxes, wealth and capital gains tax, etc.
Note that in France, every individual will have a numéro fiscal. Even though a married couple will file a joint tax return for their household (read more about that in our guide Understanding French Tax- What is a Fiscal Household in France?), each person will still have their own unique tax number.
How do I apply for a French numéro fiscal?
For French citizens, a numéro fiscal is often automatically sent out upon turning 18, but for foreigners with tax obligations in France, you will likely need to apply for one. How to apply for a numéro fiscal depends on your personal situation – here are the most common scenarios.
I am moving to France
If you are moving to France, you don’t need to apply for a numéro fiscal straight away – instead, you wait until it is time to file your first tax return in France (the year after you move). The tax year in France runs from January 1st to December 31st, and tax declarations open in April, when you will declare your income from the previous year.
So, for example, if you move to France in 2023, you will file your first tax return in April/May of 2024, declaring your income for the year of 2023. Depending on when you move to France, this may mean that you are in France for more than a year without having an official tax number; or (if you move at the very end of 2023, for example) that you will file a tax return for a half-year or less.
Your first tax return must be submitted as a paper return (Cerfa no. 2042), which you can download from the impots.gouv.fr website once they are released (annually in April) or request from your local Centre d’Impots. It is your legal responsibility to submit this tax return – you will not be sent a tax declaration form or tax number automatically, especially if you are not working in France.
Once you have a tax number, you can set up your online tax account at impots.gouv.fr (more on this below) and file your tax returns online from then on (see here for more details).
I own a property in France
As a French property owner, you will automatically be assigned a numéro fiscal when it comes time to pay your property taxes (typically between August and October). You’ll find the numéro fiscal at the top of your tax bills, and you can use this to set up your online tax account at impots.gouv.fr.
If you are worried that you haven’t received your property tax bills or you need to receive your tax number prior to the arrival of your first property tax bills, you should contact your local tax office – the Centre des Finances Publiques (more about this below).
I have French investments or income
If you are not resident in France but have French income, whether from a French pension, investments, rental income from your French property, or any other kind of work or business income in France, you must still submit an annual French tax return.
As a non-resident, you follow the same steps as ‘moving to France’ above and will need to fill in a paper tax declaration form (Cerfa no. 2042) which you can download from the impots.gouv.fr website once they are released (annually in April) or request from your local Centre d’Impots. The difference is that you will need to send it to a different address (here) – see here for more details.
Once you have submitted your first tax form, you will receive your numéro fiscal, and you can set up your online tax account at impots.gouv.fr (more on this below) and file your tax returns online from then on.
Remember, as with residents; it is your legal responsibility to submit a tax return if you earn income in France – you will not be sent a tax declaration form or tax number automatically.
Where can I find my numéro fiscal?
You may be asked for your you are not sure where to find your numéro fiscal, you’ll find it on a number of official documents, including your avis d’imposition (tax notice), your declaration d’impots (your tax return/declaration), on your avis de taxe foncière or avis de taxe d’habitation (property tax bills), or on your business tax bills. See some examples below (courtesy of aidesociale.fr)
Setting up your online tax account
The next step after receiving your numéro fiscal is to set up your online account – your espace particulier or personal space – on the impots.gouv.fr website. This is where you will be able to access all of your online tax declarations, tax bills, reminders, and tax notices. After your first paper declaration, you will be able to make all of your following tax declarations online via your espace particulier, as well as paying your tax bills and contacting your tax office through the online messaging service (particularly handy for non-residents who aren’t able to visit their local tax office). If you work in France, you can also manage your PAYE payments here.
To set up your online account:
- Click the ‘espace particulier’ sign in button, enter your numéro fiscal and follow the steps to set up your new account. You will need your numéro fiscal, numéro d’accès en ligne (online access number) and revenu fiscal de référence (your fiscal income amount), all of which can be found on your avis d’imposition (tax notice).
- Sign in using your FranceConnect account – if you live in France you might already have one of these that you have already set up with Ameli (France’s health system website) or another one of France’s official bodies. You will still need the above-mentioned details to create your espace
Creating your espace particulier as a non-resident
If you are a non-resident or property owner without an avis d’imposition, you will need to provide further details to the authorities in order to receive your online access code.
You can request this either through your local tax office (in person or in writing), or by email to [email protected]. Include your numéro fiscal, a copy of your ID (such as a passport) and proof of your French address (such as a recent electricity bill). Alternatively, you can use this form.
Once you have received your online access code, you can proceed with setting up your account.
How do I find my local tax office or Centre des Finances Publiques in France?
For any queries regarding your tax obligations, tax returns, or tax number, your first port of call should be your local tax office or centre des finances publiques. You can locate your local centre using the interactive map here. Many centres do allow drop-ins, but some may require appointments, so check the listed details and opening hours, or call ahead to check if unsure (especially if you have a greater distance to travel).
If you’re unsure about which tax office serves your area, you can always check with a neighbour or your local mairie, who will often also be able to advise you whether or not they are appointment only.
Note that if you’ve already set up your online account, you can also use the online messaging service, but as a first time taxpayer, you will need to go in or call your local tax office.
Paying Your Taxes in France
Whether you are moving to France, own French property, or have business interests, assets, or investments in France—FrenchEntrée is here to help with all your tax questions. Our Essential Reading articles are designed to give you an overview of the basics, from income tax and social charges to wealth tax and property taxes. However, tax laws and rates are always subject to change, and international tax liabilities can be especially complicated, so if in doubt, we always advise discussing your personal situation with one of our recommended financial or tax advisors.
Disclaimer: This guide is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice regarding any aspect of your tax planning or tax liabilities in France. FrenchEntrée cannot be held responsible for the consequences of decisions or actions you may choose to take in connection with French tax declarations or tax liabilities.
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