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I'm an Italian national. I lived and worked in France from September 2010 through December 31, 2012 then moved to the UK. When I left France I forgot to tell the Tax Authorities that I moved abroad (but in any case I haven't perceived any income in France in 2012 as my employment was terminated at the end of 2011). I just received the avis d'impôt 2015 where they require me to pay 6,000 euros in taxes for 2012. What would be the best way to clarify this?

  • Possibly related to expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/6124/… – audionuma Jul 16 '15 at 5:33
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    Just to clarify: Because France system for tax on incomes is based on declaration (and not directly withdrawn from your salary), the taxes you pay in 2012 correspond to the incomes for 2011. Isn't the avis d'impot 2015 asking you to pay the income tax 2012 for the incomes perceived in 2011, that for some reason you didn't pay in 2012 (while in France)? – Taladris Aug 20 '15 at 12:52
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The best way to clarify this would be to get in touch with the Centre des Finances Publiques that sent this request to you and explain them the situation, pleading good faith. There probably is an email address in their contact information.

If you are not fluent in French, you might need help from a native French speaker to write your message.

There's a possibility that even if you had no income for that period, there's a a penalty for not filing the tax documents on time. Or they are asking for the 'Taxe d'habitation' for that period.

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Failure to file a declaration often (always?) ends up with the tax authorities

  1. bugging you to file;
  2. deciding how much you have to pay, based on the previous filing and notifying you;
  3. and, if they can, take the money directly from your bank account [ouch]. Been there done that.

I suppose that when you left France you closed your bank account – so the tax office won't be able to help itself to your monies. However, it would be better to clear up the "misunderstanding" by communicating with them. Explain that you had zero income in 2012, and when you left France, you forgot, oops, to let them know, and weren't able to file a tax return.

I, however, have had a not so good experience with that route. Despite my best efforts to explain my situation, the tax authorities decided that they didn't care, or weren't convinced, and took the money anyway. So the second time around, when I sold my flat [taxes were paid on that, so it wasn't an issue], and closed (with great difficulty) my bank accounts, the tax office kept chasing me for a year, demanding this and that. They even called my mom, in another city. In the end they gave up, and it's been seven or eight blissful years. So if your attempts at negotiating/explaining don't work out, I would recommend to drop the matter entirely, and file their demands in a nice folder. Uncivil servants are not that industrious after all...

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