It’s time to pay your French tax bill, Macron’s opposition dominates Senate elections, and how to get your flu shot in France this autumn. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. Tax payments taken from French bank accounts
If you’re a French resident or taxpayer, you should have received your French tax income tax statement or Avis d’Imposition last month (August). Those with outstanding income tax due on earnings from 2022 – an estimated 9.6 million people – will have been notified on their tax statements, and yesterday (Monday, September 25th) marked the first date for payments.
Anyone owing less than €300 will have had the full amount automatically taken from their bank account (whichever account is registered with your online French tax account) by the French government. For anyone owing more than €300, payments will be staggered, with the first withdrawal taking place yesterday, and the following payments will be made on the following dates:
- Thursday, October 26th
- Monday, November 27th
- Wednesday, December 27th
Read the official rules from the French tax authorities here.
2. French senate elections
Elections for the French Senate took place this weekend, Sunday, September 24th, with the Right maintaining its majority—a disappointing, if not surprising, result for French President Emmanuel Macron. Among the 170 senators up for reelection, the vast majority maintained their posts, with the totals standing at 151 senators on the Right (most of them from Les Républicains), 77 in the Centre, and 82 on the Left. Le Monde published a handy interactive graph here. Macron’s Renaissance party lost four senators, while the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) returned to the Senate with three elected senators.
Positions in the French Senate are not voted for by the general public – they are elected by mandatory votes cast by France’s electoral college, the grands électeurs, made up of 162,000 elected officials, including mayors, MPs, and regional and departmental councillors. The elections take place every three years, with half of the Senate’s 348 seats up for election each time (senators are elected for a six-year term).
3. Macron’s latest TV interview
Hot on the heels of the Senate elections, President Macron took to the small screen the same evening (Sunday, September 24th) for a TV interview with journalists from TF1 and France 2. Among the many topics covered, Macron mentioned the possibility of a €100 annual petrol cheque for workers with modest income and €100 per month electric car rentals in France, along with confirming that the government will “not prohibit the installation of new gas boilers”. He also stated that France will stop fossil fuel energy production by 2027 after converting its last coal power stations to biomass.
When speaking on foreign policy, he confirmed that France will end its “military cooperation with Niger”and will provide humanitarian aid to the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The President also congratulated the country and government for the recent visits of British King Charles III and the pope, along with a nod to the France Rugby World Cup, which is currently being played across the country.
4. How to get a flu shot in France
We announced last week that the latest Covid-19 booster vaccines will be available to high-risk groups from Monday, October 2nd. Now, it has been confirmed that France’s flu vaccine campaign will be rolled out across the country from Tuesday, October 17th. In contrast to previous years, the vaccines will not initially be reserved for high-risk groups – instead, flu vaccines will be available straight away for anyone who wants them.
However, it’s important to note that the flu shots are only covered by the state healthcare if you fall into one of the high-risk categories, which include over-65s, pregnant women, healthcare workers, and those with chronic illnesses – anyone else will need to pay for their shot. Read our guide to how to get a flu shot in France for more details.
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