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Every year, those residing in France for more than 183 days per fiscal year must declare their income in order to establish the amount of their next tax notice.  A detailed overview of the French tax system can be found here.

The Internet tax site

One can download the income declaration form, including years following the first declaration, make one’s declaration and pay online. It is also possible to estimate the amount of tax to be paid.


Income tax 

The scientist must declare his/her income to a French institution the preceding year (N-1) to the declaration. The declaration is mandatory, even if the income is not taxable. In general, the declaration must be made in April. The spouse must also declare income, even if he/she no longer lives with the scientist.

Attention: from January 1st, 2019, taxes will be "prélevées à la source". That means that your income taxe on your salary will be deducted directly from your salary every month to make it easier for you and to be able to adjust the amount of taxes you pay every month should your personal situation changes during the year (you lose your job, raise…). The amount of taxes you’ll pay will not communicated to the employer, because the tax administration sets the tax rate according to the declared income (salaries, legacy, etc.). However, it is still necessary to prepare an income tax return each following year to determine the actual amount of taxes you owe and include potential tax deductions (e.g. donation to an association, child care tax credits for children under 6 years old etc.). More information here

The declaration needs to be made online here.

If you receive or will receive a salary and you do not yet have a French fiscal number, you can request a fiscal number and obtain a personalized withholding tax rate using this form. The French fiscal number allows you to submit your income tax return online and to request an adjustment of the withholding tax rate.

If this is your first declaration and you do not have a French tax number yet, you need to send in a hardcopy tax declaration. To obtain the declaration form, one must go to the public finances center closest to one’s domicile (Here is the list of centers in Nice) or download the forms here. The form comes with an explanatory guide. The form will then need to be returned or by postal mail. We recommend you send your tax delcaration by registered mail and keep a copy for your personal records.

If the scientist has difficulties in completing the form, agents at the tax office can help but they will require relevant documents to validate the information (for example: pay checks... etc.)

A scientist, who will be in France less than 183 days per fiscal year is not considered a French resident for tax purposes.  You can find more information on income tax issues specific for foreigners here and here.


The habitation and audio-visual tax

If the scientist occupies a dwelling on January 1, he/she must pay a habitation tax which is evaluated relative to his/her income, but also in terms of the characteristics of the dwelling. Whether the scientist stays in France or not, the tax must be paid. The tax bill usually arrives in September or October at the place of residence or at the last declared address. The audio-visual tax is attached to this tax bill. It must be paid if the scientist has a television or if television reception is possible in the place of residence. These two taxes are paid simultaneously and are on the same bill.


And bilateral fiscal conventions ?

Certain countries have bilateral fiscal conventions with France. This aims to avoid double taxation. Some conventions even provide exemptions for scientists. Each convention is different. The scientist can consult this site to verify if his/her previous country of residence for tax purposes  and France have a bilateral fiscal convention and, if so, complete the process indicated on the site. Otherwise, the scientist can print the convention and seek the advice of the public finance center closest to his/her residence on how to best proceed.