Does anyone know where I can find reliable information on French taxation rules? As a student from India, who is going to live in France on VLS-TS, I will open a French bank account. Will this be a normal account or are there special student saving accounts with different rates of interest?

And when I create a French bank account, I am planning to transfer money from my Indian account for one year's living expenses. Will this money entering France from India be taxed?

1 Answer 1


Regular bank accounts in France don't carry interest. Opening a bank account might not be the easiest task when you arrive in France (as you will discover, France has a way to make admin tasks hell on Earth). Especially if you don't speak French. I'd look into opening a bank account with an online bank, like ING Direct (or others, that's the only one that comes to mind right now).

Your money transferred from overseas won't be taxed per se (and if you leave it on a current account, it won't accrue interest and thus you won't be taxed on that). Been there done that.

A point of note. The French tax authorities have the nasty habit of helping themselves to your bank account if they deem you owe them money. After a year in France, you will have to fill out a tax return, and they'll let you know whether you have to pay tax. Failure to do so (if, for example, you leave France), will lead to a few reminders, and then, magically, the amount will be deducted from your bank account. Again, been there done that... So if you leave France after your studies, remember to close your account.

  • Thanks for your answer. So, when you say online bank, it still has to be a French bank, right? Currently, I bank with Citi in India. They are clearly miles ahead when it comes to all kinds of online services and I RARELY visit the branch for anything. Do you think I can continue to use the same when in France, for transferring money to other accounts, or withdraw from ATMs or use at POS for store/restaurant purchases and most importantly, receive CAF housing benefits into? Or will the French authorities not deposit housing reimbursements into an Indian account?
    – Ramesh B
    May 18, 2018 at 16:46
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    Your university should have contacts with a local bank which will get your account set up before you enter the country. In my case it was Science Accueil near Paris and I opened an account with societe generale. You will need a French bank account. And I wouldn't rely on CAF - you are entitled to it technically, but they can 'lose' your documents over and over if they don't want to sign you up, especially if you're foreign. I tried for a year before giving up. May 19, 2018 at 13:51

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