2020 Tax Return: you won't have to fill it out if...
INCOME TAX RETURN – The online income tax return service is no longer available. It will open again in the spring of 2020.

[Updated to Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 3:33 p.m.]One year after its implementation, the Department of Public Accounts prepared a review of the payroll deduction on Tuesday, January 28. This is an opportunity to recall that for the first time this year, the traditional income tax return will be optional for some taxpayers. The government specifies the conditions, cumulative, that must be met by users to benefit from the automatic tax return:

  • to have been taxed in 2019 on categories of income pre-fillable by the administration only (those receiving land income or self-employed persons are therefore de facto excluded)
  • not having notified the tax authorities of any change of address or family status for 2019
  • not to have created a withholding tax instalment in 2019 (e.g. in the case of the collection of first land or income from self-employed occupations)
  • not to be among the users whose situation requires specific information because of their tax situation (journalists, childminders, non-residents, etc.).

It should be noted that the users concerned by the automatic tax return will receive a specific communication from the end of March, by e-mail or by post for those who continue to declare their income using the paper form.

Just because income tax is now withheld at source does not mean that the tax return is no longer required. However, the change in the collection method has introduced a novelty: the end of the obligation for everyone to declare their income is included in the draft budget bill for 2020. About 12 million tax households will have no action to take in 2020. See if you’re one of them. Good to know: people not domiciled in France, if they have income from French sources or at least one dwelling in France, must also complete a tax return.

It should be noted that it is still in the interest of non-taxable persons to file a tax return in order to receive a notice of income tax status (Asdir), which will serve as a tax receipt if they take steps to obtain tax benefits or simply apply for an APL.

The deadline for filing a tax return

The deadline for filing a tax return depends on the filing method chosen. Those who declare their income on the Internet are given extra time. As of 2019, online reporting is mandatory for everyone. However, the tax authorities foresee that the following taxpayers can still complete a paper tax return:

  • Those whose main residence is not equipped with Internet access
  • Those who live in an area where no mobile service is available (white zone), exempt from the obligation to report their income by 2024
  • Those who do not know how to use the Internet even if they have a connection in their primary residence
  • Those who are completing a tax return for the first time this year and have not received a letter from the tax authorities containing their identifiers in order to complete their tax return online.

The simple fact of sending their declaration on paper is a commitment on the honour of not being able to do so online. The filing deadline for the 2020 paper tax return is not yet known. For the record, in 2019, it was set for Thursday, 16 May.

The deadlines for reporting income via the Internet vary depending on the taxpayer’s department number. The deadlines for online income tax reporting in 2020 have not yet been announced. As a reminder, in 2019 the schedule was as follows:

  • from 01 to 19 and non-residents (Zone 1): Tuesday, May 21 at midnight
  • 20 to 49 (Zone 2): Tuesday, May 28 at midnight
  • from 50 to 974/976 (zone 3): Thursday 6 June at midnight (4 June + 48 hours).

Reportable income

Among the income to be mentioned in his tax return, there are of course those that make up the taxable salary, i.e. :

  • fixed remuneration, paid by the employer, as well as his or her premium for overtime work
  • the so-called ancillary elements of salary, such as the 13th month and seniority bonus.

Benefits received in the event of unemployment or early retirement must also be declared to the tax authorities. In addition to wages and salaries, other categories of income are subject to income tax: pensions and life annuities, income from securities and movable assets, capital gains and miscellaneous gains, property income, income from self-employed professions and the remuneration of certain company directors (EARL and EIRL among others).  Please note that not all income is reportable. Those that are exempt should not be reported on the tax return.

The online tax return

The Internet declaration is pre-filled by the tax authorities with the civil status, family situation and the salaries and allowances indicated by employers and social organisations. Who can report online? Everyone, including the 20-25 year olds who were previously attached to their parents’ tax household and who are reporting their income for the first time in 2020.

  1. Step: Go to the e-filing service from your computer or launch the Impots.gouv application on your smartphone or tablet.
  2. Step 2: Log in to your Personal space with your tax number and password. For those who do not yet have a password, log in to the service using your tax number, your tax filer number and your tax reference income to choose one. Since 2018, it has been possible to connect to the secure area on the tax website thanks to FranceConnect, a device that enables access to the online services of various public administrations using the same identifiers: those of the tax website, the Social Security website (Ameli.fr), the La Poste website or MobileConnect and me, which enables Orange network customers to identify themselves using their mobile phone. To use FranceConnect in order to connect to your private area on the tax website, click on the corresponding icon on the access portal dedicated to private individuals and choose the service through which you want to identify yourself
  3. Step 3: Verify that the marital status, address and pre-filled amounts are correct. If not, correct them directly in the boxes.
  4. Step 4: Fill in the other income, expenses and tax reductions or credits for which you are eligible. Advantage, compared to the paper return: when you indicate the different types of income received in 2019, the service presents the corresponding reporting forms on the screen. Once the electronic declaration is completed, an acknowledgement of receipt is issued and a confirmation e-mail is sent. You can correct it as many times as you like up to the reporting deadline.

The paper tax return

Like the online return, the paper return is pre-filled. Here are the steps to follow to complete it:

  1. Step: Check that the information given is correct. If not, correct them in the white boxes provided.
  2. Step 2: If you have other income (commercial, liberal, agricultural, land, etc.), expenses (alimony, donations to charities) or tax reductions to report, fill them in. Certain income is the subject of a declaration annexed to the basic declaration No 2042, in particular:
    • rental investments in Pinel: form n°2042 C
    • property income: form n°2044
    • non-wage income: form n°2042-C-PRO
    • capital gains on securities: form n°2074
    • income received abroad: form n°2047.
  3. Step 3: Sign your declaration and return it. Where to send your statement? At the Public Finance Centre, whose address is indicated on page 1 of the form received, before the submission deadline.

If you don’t receive a return form, which happens when you first report income or when you move without having your mail forwarded, you can download the forms from the tax website, available in April 2019, or go to the public finance centre in your home to pick them up. Please note that, since 2013, you do not need to attach all the supporting documents, especially those concerning the payment of donations and union dues. However, they must be kept.

Download form 2042 (free)

The download link for the 2042 declaration for income received in 2019 (Cerfa n° 10330*24) is not yet available. You can download the blank 2019 form in PDF format, as well as the explanatory note provided to help you complete your tax form, by clicking here.

First tax return

A young person 18 years of age or older will have to file a tax return in his or her name in 2020 if :

  • it is not attached to his parents’ tax household
  • he worked in 2019.

As of 2015, online declarations for first-time filers are pre-completed. How to declare? On the Internet, for 20-25 year olds who have received a letter from the tax authorities informing them that they can make use of this option, or by returning the signed and completed form No. 2042 to the public finance centre of their home.

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