2042, 2042C Pro, 2044, 2047—if you’re hearing all these numbers and you’re starting to get a bit stressed, it’s normal, it’s tax time and tax time in France means lots of different numbers on lots of different forms.
You can watch this video here for more information on Tax declarations
It tends to send us all into a bit of a panic and it’s understandable because tax time, you kind of want to get it right, you want to tick the right boxes, but whereas for a few, getting advice is the right way to go – for the majority of us out there, it’s a question of going into our last year’s declaration, making the modifications and then pressing one or two buttons and saying job done for another year.
Really, the idea today is just to demystify some of the tax declaration problems and to let people know that it’s just paperwork once again but paperwork at it’s best ! Mistakes can happen, and when they do, you can modify it.
Obviously there’s a huge amount of information, lots of documents that you can use, but your local tax office is a good place to go if you really have a difficult situation or, of course, get expert advice from a tax advisor for difficult problems or contact us at LBS and we will let you know what you need to do.
BASE DOCUMENT – 2042
It’s paperwork and paperwork at its best. Let’s take a look, first of all, at the very base document for tax declarations in France. It’s a 2042. If you’re new to tax in France, if this is your first declaration, this is what you start with, is a 2042. This document you can get from your local tax office. They will not send it to you if it’s your first declaration, you have to go and collect it.
Firstly, you can download any of the cerfa forms from www.impots.gouv.fr
Once you have this document, you can input the details of yourself, your partner, your children, your salaries, and it will be a base for all the annex documents to go into. That is the first place, the 2042.
Then basically, of course, you have to think about the deadlines. Now, if it’s a paper declaration, which it will be if it’s your first declaration, it’s the 17th of May, midnight. Believe me, midnight is important! I have seen 20 years ago when I first came here and we were rushing around doing our tax declarations, people at the tax offices up to midnight to put it in the post box at the tax office because they were so late. Remember if you send it via post, make sure you have proof of sending ie registered post or ‘lettre suivi’.
Of course, if you do online like a lot of people are now, you can do this up until the 23rd of May for the departments from 01 to 19, so the 06, where I am, the deadline is the 23rd. For the departments 20 to 49, it’s the 30th of May, and of course, the lucky people, departments 50 to 976, you have until the 6th of June to get your online declaration done.
2042 C PRO – NON SALARIED
The next document causes lots of confusion and lots of questions. It’s a 2042C Pro. This is really aimed at people who are not in salaried employment, your auto entrepreneurs, your furnished rentals, for example, would be using the 2042C Pro to declare their revenue for 2016. Simply understand which category of business you are in before you complete it.
What I’ve seen a lot on the forums at the moment is about the declaration fiscale. People are panicking and questioning the declaration fiscale for auto entrepreneurs. The declaration fiscale is a good document to get, however, you can make your tax declaration without it, okay? If you’re an auto entrepreneur and worried you haven’t received, it’s kind of normal because they don’t send them via the post, everything is pretty much online. If you’re commercial or service-based, it’s the RSI and you can get it from your RSI account online. If you don’t have an RSI account online, it’s quite simple. You go to the RSI website with your social security number and you can set up an account and download your declaration fiscale.
If you’re consultancy based activity, that’s with the URSAFF and that is on the net enterprises website. If you’ve got an account there, you go in and get your declaration fiscal.
Really, like I was saying, you don’t actually need this. All you need to know is what you have invoiced and what has come into your business account from the 1st of January to the 31st of December, 2016, and what category are you in, BIC, BNC, or BA. BIC of course being commercial activities, BNC being non-commercial liberal-type activities, and the BA, the agricultural-type activities. If you know what category your revenue is, your total amount, you don’t need the declaration fiscale.
2044 – UNFURNISHED ACCOMMODATION
Then, of course, you have the 2044. The 2044 is really the declaration that we’d use if you have unfurnished accommodations. Unfurnished, over 15K, that’s the declaration we’d use. If you’re renting unfurnished accommodation under 15K, then that would just simply go in the micro BIC on the base document, 2042.
Again, if you’re not sure you can quite easily go to the local tax office and ask for advice or get some help out there. Come to LBS or speak to a tax specialist. It’s sometimes worth investing if you’re not sure.
2047 – OVERSEAS MONEY FOR RESIDENTS
The 2047, that’s another one. That’s the pink form. If you are a resident in France, and that’s important, you’re a resident in France but you have income coming from another country, you would use the 2047 form to let the tax operators know what money is coming in. Things like people who are retirees, for example, would use the 2047. Maybe you are receiving dividends from a business in another country or money coming in from a rental property abroad. This is the document you would use.
This is not so that you pay the tax twice. It’s so that they know what revenue you have declared. There are, obviously, double tax treaties in place and if you have a complicated, international tax question, then speak with a professional advisor on that.
All of these annex documents feed into the 2042, which is the base document, and there’s a complimentary 2042 document as well for your tax credits for costs for your children, home helps and such like.
If you’re declaring online, a top tip would be to open up the annex documents first, fill those in, and then it feeds in the 2042. If you start with the 2042, you’ll often lose the information, so you have to go through it twice. I’m speaking from experience, of course. Use the annex first before going to the 2042.
3916 – DECLARING OVERSEAS ACCOUNTS
The other one as well is the 3916. If you have bank accounts in other countries, you are supposed to declare them to the French authorities. It’s the 3916 document that you use. That’s quite a straightforward document to put in your account details. Once you’ve done it once, you don’t have to do it every year. It’s just one when you do it.
I think that’s important to remember for tax documents, I know it’s a subject that is very complex, but for me, again, it’s about paperwork. It’s just ticking a few boxes and often it’s not too complicated. Of course, like I said, you have to get it right and the good thing to remember is, if you do all your declarations online and then you realize you’ve got it wrong, from middle of August until the end of December, you can go back into your declaration and change it, for the most part anyway.
Also, if you realize a year down the line or two years down the line that you’ve made some mistakes, you can go into the tax office and speak to them and they will change the situation for you as well. It’s not that you can’t come back on things you’ve done and if you’re very up front about it, they often don’t penalize you on that.
I think that is about what I can cover, because there’s so much information I could give you, but I think it would just make it more complicated for you.
Most of you know where I am. I’m Tracy Leonetti, I’m LBS, you can find me on Facebook and if you have any comments or any questions, do pop them onto my Facebook page and I will try and come back to you quickly. Or, of course, you can drop me an email at Tracy@LBSinFrance.com.