Tax system

Tax status of French residents
Resident in France for over 183 days per year
All persons living in France, whatever their nationality. must pay taxes in France on the totality of their income.
Tax residency
Tax residency in France is determined by the following conditions:
  • the person has moved to France or his/her main place of residence is in France with his/her family (partner and children),
  • the person has an occupation in France, whether employee or self-employed, except if the activity is secondary (see below).
Only one of these criteria needs to be met for an individual to be considered a resident in France.
If the person works abroad, he/she is considered a French tax resident as long as his/her family lives in France for more than 183 days per year, including in a hotel.
For a couple, if one of the partners does not live in France, only his/her income earned in France is subject to French income tax (impôt sur le revenu).
However, the full income of the partner residing in France is subject to taxation in France.
Principal activity
An occupation is considered as a principal activity:
  • if the person carries out this activity for more than half of his/her time,
  • or if this activity generates over half of the person's total income.
People having the core of their economic interests based in France are also subject to the French tax system. This means:
  • those whose company head office is in France,
  • those for whom this activity represents the main part of their professional activity,
  • or if the majority of the person’s revenue is earned in France. 
In all cases, the French tax administration must be consulted. Only this body can determine the applicable status for a foreign tax household in France. Do not hesitate to consult the tax agreements that set out the criteria applicable to define the tax residency according to the foreign citizen's country of origin. The consulate can also provide assistance in understanding the measures specific to each case.
© All Contents, Laurence de PERCIN, janvier 2014.
Groupe Société Générale