Your questions: Taxes in France
Easy ways to pay tax on time
What do I have to observe when paying my taxes in France? Are there any deadlines?
There are different deadline dates for each form of payment so be careful that you pay on time. If not you may be subjected to a 10 per cent penalty on the amount that you already owe.
The easiest way to pay is online. Just follow the instructions (in French) on www.impots.gouv.fr
You benefit from an extra five days than the standard tax deadline indicated on your tax bill (avis d'im-position). Paying online also means that the tax office will not debit your bank account until 10 days after the standard tax deadline indicated on your tax bill. You can choose from two types of direct debit:
1. Once a year direct debit at the time of deadline for tax payment
2. Monthly direct debit - over 10 months from January to October on the 15th of each month.
The amount is usually the same figure until September and then in October the balance of what is due is paid. This system is very flexible, allowing you to dictate what you want to pay each month (you can change this amount up until 30th June); as long as the full amount due is paid in October the tax office is happy. For example many businesses are cyclical or seasonal and so perhaps an individual may not earn much from January to May but during the summer season earns the majority of his annual income. The tax payments can be adjusted to suit this. Also you can suspend monthly payments if you feel you have already paid the amount of tax you estimate you owe. For example, someone who works in a ski station and earns most of his income in the winter can pay monthly until, for example, April and then suspend monthly payments until he pays the balance due based on the actual amount due on his tax bill.
Before each direct debit the tax office sends a letter by post to inform you (when and how much) will be taken out of your bank account. The cut off to sign up for this monthly direct debit is the 1st July. You can register now and the payments will start from January 2010.