Residents of France

If you live outside France, always check with the local tax authority to find out if you have filing and/or payment obligations in your country of residence, even if you pay taxes in France.

In some cases, depending on the applicable tax treaty (available on impots.gouv.fr), income from French sources or interest earned in France must be declared both in France and in your country of residence.

Resident of France for tax purposes

Residency for tax purposes is determined for each member of a household. If you are married or in a civil partnership, you may be considered a resident of France for tax purposes even if your spouse or partner is considered a non-resident.

Determining if your tax residence is in France

International tax treaties take precedence

To determine your residence for tax purposes, international tax treaties establish criteria that take precedence over national legislation. These criteria may vary depending on the tax treaty; therefore, please refer to the tax treaty that is applicable to your specific situation.

If there is no tax treaty between the two countries in question, then each country's national legislation applies.

Under French law

Unless international tax treaties state otherwise, you are considered to be a resident of France for tax purposes if you fulfil at least one of the following criteria :

  • Your household (including your spouse, civil partner and/or children) remains in France. This may be the case if you are living temporarily or for most of the year in another country for professional reasons. If you are single without dependants, then your tax residence is defined as where you live most of the time.

or

  • You have a professional activity in France, as an employee or otherwise, unless this activity is secondary.

or

  • The centre of your economic interests is in France. In other words, France is the location of your main investments, your place of business, the location of your professional activities, or the source of the majority of your income.

Nevertheless, applying each country's national legislation can result in your being considered a tax resident of several different countries. In such cases, in order to determine a single residence for tax purposes, please refer to the tax treaty applicable to your specific situation.

Tax implications of being a resident of France for tax purposes

If your "tax domicile" is in France, you are liable for French taxes on all of your income, including compensation for activity carried out abroad. You must file an income tax return with the tax office with jurisdiction over your tax domicile.

Specific case : If you are an employee of the central governement, regional/local governement or public hospitals,  please refer to the special Documentation section of the impots.gouv.fr website :

Tax treatment for employees of the central government, local authorities and public hospitals posted abroad

Couples with mixed residency status

Residency for tax purposes is determined for each member of a household.

If you are married or in a civil partnership, and one of you lives abroad and the other in France, then you are a “couple with mixed residency status”. You may be considered a resident of France for tax purposes even if your spouse or partner is considered a non-resident (or vice versa). You will be subject to different tax treatment.

  • If you are both French residents for tax purposes (refer to the definition of French resident for tax purposes), then you are taxable in France for all your income, including the pay you receive for your activity abroad. In this case, you must file your income tax return with the tax office with jurisdiction over your household.
     
  • If one of you is a French resident for tax purposes and the other is not under the terms of a tax treaty, and if you are married (or in a civil partnership) under a joint property regime, you must declare :
     
    • All the income of the spouse or partner resident in France, and of the children or dependants residing in France for tax purposes
       
    • The income from French sources of the non-resident spouse or partner, provided that the tax treaty grants France the right to tax this income

      NB: Income from foreign sources of the non-resident individual is excluded from the tax base and is not included when applying the so-called “effective tax rate” rule. Non-resident members of the tax household are included for income splitting purposes.
       
  • If one of you is a French resident for tax purposes and the other is not under the terms of a tax treaty, and if you are married (or in a civil partnership) under a separation-of-property regime and you are living separately, each of you must file an income tax return with the tax office with jurisdiction over your main residence (for the resident) and with the Individual Tax Department for Non-Residents (for the non-resident). Two tax notices will be established, and each member of the couple will be taxed accordingly as a resident or a non-resident.

    NB : The year after moving away from France, the spouse (or civil partner) who has become a non-resident must file an income tax return with the tax office with jurisdiction over his/her former main residence and must indicate whether he/she continues to receive income from French sources that is taxable in France under the terms of an international tax treaty. In this case alone, the competent tax office will be the Individual Tax Department for Non-Residents, and the taxpayer's file will be transferred to this tax office automatically after the taxpayer has indicated that he/she has left France and continues to receive income from French sources.