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France - Other taxes and levies

France - Other taxes and levies

Taxation of international executives

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Social security tax

Are there social security/social insurance taxes in France? If so, what are the rates for employers and employees?

Employer and employee

Employers and employees are subject to various mandatory French social security and pension contributions. The employee’s share and is withheld from salary via payroll amounts to approximately 18 percent to 23 percent of gross taxable compensation.

Other payroll taxes do not give rise to any benefits sur as the apprenticeship tax and employers' contributions to the development of continuous vocational training and to construction.

Wage tax (taxe sur les salaires) is payable by employers established in France who are not liable to VAT or were not liable to VAT on at least 90 percent of their turnover for the calendar year prior to that for which the wages were paid (i.e. mainly the financial sector - banks and insurance companies, the medical and paramedical sector, associations and other non-profit bodies).

 

Employee

Employer

 

Monthly Ceiling

Rate

Monthly Ceiling

Rate

Social Security

Health, maternity, disability, death1

-

-

total earnings

13% or 7%

Autonomy solidarity contribution ("Contribution solidarité autonomie"/ CSA)

-

-

total earnings

0.3%

Old-age insurance (with upper limit)2

EUR3,428

6.9%

EUR3,428

8.55%

Old-age insurance

total earnings

0.4%

total earnings

1.9%

Accidents at work3

-

-

total earnings

variable

Family benefits4

-

-

total earnings

5.25% or 3.45%

Social security surcharge ("Contribution sociale généralisée" / CSG)5

98.25% of gross salary

9.2%

-

-

Social security debt reimbursement contribution ("Contribution pour le remboursement de la dette sociale"/ CRDS)5

98.25% of gross salary

0.5%

-

-

Unemployment6

-

-

EUR13,712

4.05%

AGS6

-

-

EUR13,712

0.15%

Supplementary pensions (Agirc-Arrco scheme)7

- Bracket1

EUR3,428

3.15%

EUR3,428

4.72%

CEG (Overall balance contribution)

EUR3,428

0.86%

EUR3,428

1.29%

- Bracket2

from EUR3,428 to 27,424

8.64%

from EUR3,428 to 27,424

12.95%

CEG

from EUR3,428 to 27,424

1.08%

from EUR3,428 to 27,424

1.62%


1. The Social Security financing law for 2018 has instituted a 7 percent employer's health-maternity-disability-death contribution as from 1 January 2019, on yearly salaries not exceeding 2.5 times the French minimum wage (SMIC, i.e. EUR1,539.45*2.5*12 = EUR46,183.56 for 2020).

2. Monthly social security ceiling in 2020.

3. This rate varies based on company size and risks.

4. The rate of 3.45 percent applies to businesses eligible for the general decrease in contributions and to annual salaries lower than or equal to 3.5 times the legal minimum wage (SMIC, i.e. EUR1,539.45*3.5*12 = EUR64,656.96 for 2020).

5. The 2018 social security financing law increased CSG withholdings by 1.7 points on earned income (increase from 7.5 to 9.2 percent) and on retirement and disability pensions. With regard to these pensions, French Law No. 2018-1213 of 24 December 2018, instituting economic and social emergency measures, set a new, intermediate rate, bringing the number of different applicable rates as determined by an individual's reference taxable income for the year N-2 to 4. Persons who are members of the French social security scheme but not residents of France for tax purposes are not liable to CSG and CRDS. They are however liable for employee's health insurance contributions at a rate of 5.5 percent on total earnings. CSG and CRDS are also deducted at rates of 6.2 and 0.5 percent respectively from replacement income (Daily compensation benefits, unemployment benefits, etc.)

6. The upper limit is equal to 4 monthly social security ceilings (4 x EUR3,428).
AGS: wage guarantee insurance association. It is entirely employer-funded and finances the wage guarantee scheme: if a company goes into a receivership or court-ordered liquidation, it guarantees the payment of employees' wages, notice period, and compensation.

7. The Agirc and Arrco schemes merged on 1 January 2019. Compulsory supplementary retirement pension contributions are now calculated based on two brackets for both executive (“cadre”) and non-executive salaried workers:

The 1st bracket comprises from the first euro to the amount of the Social security ceiling,

The 2nd bracket comprises from the amount of the Social security ceiling to 8 times the Social security ceiling.

The contribution adjustment factor (127 percent) generates excess contributions without increasing retirement pension entitlements. Points are calculated using the contractual rate. For bracket 1, which has an overall rate of 7.87 percent, only 6.20 percent is taken into account to calculate an employee's retirement pension points. The rest goes to finance the scheme. The following are added on to the aforementioned contributions:

The APEC contribution, which only applies to executive employees (those with “cadre” status), on the portion of their salary amounting to 4 times the social security ceiling. The overall rate of this contribution is 0.06 percent.

The CET (technical balancing contribution), which applies to both executive and non-executive employees whose salaries are above the monthly social security ceiling (the employee's share is 0.14 percent and the employer's share is 0.21 percent).

Gift, wealth, estate, and/or inheritance tax

Are there any gift, wealth, estate, and/or inheritance taxes in France?

In the French inheritance tax system, each heir pays taxes on their share of the bequest. The key to taxation is the place of domicile (generally, tax residence) of the deceased, not the heir. If they are domiciled in France, worldwide assets are taxed, subject to tax treaties; if not, then only French assets are taxed. Life insurance proceeds are generally subject to a 20 percent flat rate after deducting an allowance of EUR152,500 per beneficiary.

Real Estate Wealth Tax (Impôt sur la fortune immobilière or IFI)

IFI is levied on individuals with net real estate assets exceeding EUR1.3 million. It replaced the solidarity tax on wealth in 2018.

IFI is generally declared as part of the annual tax return with the same deadline.

The real estate wealth tax rates range from 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent.

Individuals are exempt from real estate wealth tax (IFI) on property situated outside France for the first 5 years of their residence in France, provided they have not been tax residents of France for over 5 calendar years.

Real estate tax

Are there real estate taxes in France?

Local authorities assess an annual dwelling tax (taxe d‘habitation) on the occupant (owner or lessee) of any dwelling on 1 January any given year. The dwelling tax is assessed if the dwelling is available to the taxpayer. The tax is generally assessed and due in October or November of the same year. The amount is assessed at local rates and based on the annual rental value of the property as indicated in the government's property records.

The dwelling tax is currently undergoing a reform resulting in the gradual tax disappearance of the tax. This is the case for 80 percent of households since 2020. By 2023 this should be the case for all households. In addition to the dwelling tax, property owners pay a local real estate tax (taxe foncière) which is assessed once per year and due in the autumn.

Sales/VAT tax

Are there sales and/or value-added taxes in France?

Retail prices on most goods and services reflect value-added tax (VAT), which is currently 20 percent on most goods and services. However, food items, transportation, home repairs and improvement and a few other items are subject to a reduced 10 percent VAT, and still others, have only 5.5 or 2.1 percent VAT.

Unemployment tax

Are there unemployment taxes in France?

Unemployment taxes in France are part of the social charges that are withheld each month from salaries. 

Other taxes

Are there additional taxes in France that may be relevant to the general assignee? For example, customs tax, excise tax, stamp tax, etc.

Trusts

Trustees face stringent reporting obligations when the trustees, the settlor, or at least one of the beneficiaries is a French tax resident, or if the trust holds an asset or a right located in France.

Trustees must submit an annual return which discloses the valuation of assets, rights and proceeds held by the trust on 1 January of each year. They must also disclose changes in the trust (modification or termination) within 1 month of the change. Failure to comply with the disclosure requirements results in a substantial financial penalty (EUR20,000 per undeclared trust).

A 1.5 percent standalone tax is due in the event of non-disclosure of assets placed in a trust for French IFI purposes. The tax is not due if the assets have been duly included in the settlor’s IFI tax basis.

Television tax

Owners of a television set pay a television tax which is assessed together with the dwelling tax. 

Double taxation treaties

The following countries/jurisdictions have a double taxation treaty with France:

  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina (EOL*)
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Central African Republic
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Congo
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • French Polynesia
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Guinea
  • Hong-Kong (SAR)
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • North Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama (EOL*)
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Quebec
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • St Martin
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe*

EOL: Exchange of letters.

Foreign financial assets

Is there a requirement to declare/report offshore assets (e.g. foreign financial accounts, securities) to the country/jurisdiction’s fiscal or banking authorities?

French tax residents need to declare their financial assets held outside of France whether they hold the account alone or with others or benefit from a power of attorney over the account.

This includes accounts opened with banks, investment service providers, public administrations or individuals such as notaries or money changers that receive deposits in securities, shares or cash on a regular basis, safe deposit boxes in a foreign bank.

It also includes life insurance policies taken out with insurance companies and similar institutions, digital assets such as cryptocurrencies or digital tokens.

It does not, however, concern accounts used to make payments for online purchases or deposits linked to the sales of goods that total less than EUR10,000 a year for all accounts, where the foreign accounts are backed by one or more accounts opened in France.

The fine is EUR1,500 for each omission. Where the filing requirement concerns a country/jurisdiction that has not concluded a tax treaty with France aimed at combating tax evasion, the fine is increased to EUR10,000. Other penalties may apply.

Disclaimer:

All information contained in this publication is summarized by KPMG Avocats, the French member firm affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a Private English company limited by guarantee. The information contained in this publication is based on the French General Tax Code (Code General des Impôts-CGI), the French tax administration’s official doctrine (as published on Bofip), the French tax administration’s website, The French social security websites (urssaf.fr), the French international social security body (cleiss.fr) and supporting information published by the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry

© 2021 KPMG Avocats, société d’avocats de droit français, membre de l’organisation mondiale KPMG constituée de cabinets indépendants affiliés à KPMG International Limited, une société de droit anglais(« private company limited by guarantee »). Tous droits réservés. Le nom et le logo KPMG ainsi que le nom KPMG Avocats sont des marques utilisées sous licence par les cabinets indépendants membres de l’organisation mondiale KPMG.

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