News Digest: Is Your French Tax Return Due Next Week?
The first of France’s tax return deadlines is fast approaching, strikes cause cancellations on Eurostar trains, and there’s another bank holiday on the way! Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. Tax return deadlines approaching
The first of France’s tax deadlines is next week on Monday, May 22nd, 2023. This first deadline concerns all paper tax returns, which much be submitted by post (or handed in directly at your local tax office). If it’s your first time filling in a tax return in France, then this applies to you—your first tax return must be filled in as a paper form.
If you still need to fill in your tax return, we’ve put together a series of handy guides to help you along the way, which we’ll be continuing over the next few weeks. Be sure to check out our 2023 French Tax Calendar for the rest of the deadlines, which vary depending on the French department in which you live.
2. Unvaccinated healthcare workers return to work
France’s controversial move to ban unvaccinated healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic from working has been overturned this week. As of yesterday (Monday, May 15th), healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated against Covid are now officially allowed to return to work. The ban has been in place now for 18 months and meant that unvaccinated professionals – an estimated 4,000 workers as of November 2022 – were suspended from work without pay.
With the ban lifted, these healthcare workers are now free to return to their former jobs, although whether or not their positions remain – and whether or not said workers would want to return after all – is unsure.
3. Eurostar strikes and cancellations
The ongoing strikes and protests concerning Macron’s controversial pension reforms have calmed down a bit since the bill was passed into law a couple of weeks back. However, a series of unannounced strikes affected Eurostar trains yesterday and today, with a number of international services being cancelled or delayed as a result. The strikes were unusual in that they were not announced 48 hours in advance, as is usually the case in France, and they did not affect national SNCF services.
The good news is that services appear to be running as usual for the rest of the week, but it’s advisable to double-check your travel plans if you are travelling by Eurostar this week and keep an eye on the latest news.
France’s next day of nationwide strike action has been announced for June 6th.
4. Faire le pont
Another week, another bank holiday! Thursday, 18th May is the Christian festival of Ascension in France, and it marks the third of four bank holidays or jour fériés in May this year. This one is particularly favourable for many French workers as a large number of people will be taking the opportunity to ‘faire le pont’ and enjoy a four-day weekend by taking both Thursday and Friday off work.
Expect a surge of traffic around cities and motorway junctions this weekend as families head out to the coast or countryside, and double-check opening hours on Thursday and Friday as many shops, businesses, and services will be closed.
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