What’s the trade-off for great health care, housing aids and government jobs for life? Taxes, that’s what. The French pay some very high taxes relative to places like the US. We put a nice picture of Paris in this section to remind you what you’re paying for. 

Income Tax

Lodging Tax

Property Tax

Income Tax

Remember that if you pay taxes in 2013, you are paying what you owe the government from 2012 – this means that taxes only apply if you were gainfully employed in 2012.

In France, tax season begins in May. If you’ve paid taxes before in France, then the tresor public will send you the standard 2042 income tax forms in the mail in early May. You have the entire month to fill out your forms and mail them back in. If you have already paid taxes in France, you also have the option of filling out this form online and sending it electronically.

Taxes are usually paid in 1, 2 or 3 installments or échéances (respectively due on February 15th, May 15th and September 15th). However, this is beginning to change as tax payers are now offered the option of paying their taxes once a month (on the 15th of each month) through an automatic bank transfer.

If this is the first time you’ve filed taxes in France, then you can download the 2042 tax form at This site also lets you see how much income tax you’ll be liable to pay and it provides a wealth of information on paying taxes.

Your forms should be sent to the service des impôts des particuliers for your arrondissement. This information can be found fairly easily online.

Note, you will be required to report any bank accounts that you have outside of France (this is a separate form). Also note, if you have a complicated tax situation, we recommend a tax attorney. They can range from 300-750 euros to file taxes depending on how complicated your return will be.

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Lodging Tax (Taxe d’Habitation)

When you occupy a property, you generally pay an amount called the taxe d’habitation. The rule is, that if you lived in a given residence on the 1st of January of the calendar year you are eligible for this tax. The amount you must pay is calculated based on the size of the apartment, the value of the property, the rental or the mortgage amount, and other demographic information (age, marriage status, etc.)

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Property Tax

If you own a property on the first of January, you must pay the taxe foncière, or property tax. For more detailed information on paying property taxes, please go to the official page from the trésor public.

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About Author


I came to Paris in the fall of 2006 as a study abroad student. Since then, I have had many adventures in babysitting, grad schooling, interning, girlfriending, breaking up, haling taxis and working a 9-to-5. For every day that Paris drives me nuts-- because seriously, this city WILL get on your nerves sometimes-- there are days when I feel overjoyed and privileged to be living in such a beautiful town.

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