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Here’s how to complete your first tax return

This spring, you have to file a tax return for the first time. Because you are now over 18 years old and you are no longer attached to your parents’ tax household. You therefore have no choice, you will have to familiarize yourself with form 2042 of the income tax return, even if you are not taxable (CGI.art.170). Concretely, you must declare all the income earned during the last year, namely from January 1 to December 31, 2021. And even if you have only received modest income (internship bonuses, work-study, minimum wage , etc.). This process is essential because it allows you to obtain, once the declaration has been completed, a valuable document for your daily life: a notice of declaratory situation for income tax (Asdir). This notice (which is replaced by a tax notice in the summer, its more formal equivalent) is often a necessary document for setting up administrative files (social aid, student grants, etc.) or to be provided to private agents such as a landlord to rent an apartment.

The first question you ask yourself is probably very practical. How do you actually declare your income? To complete a declaration online on the official website of the administration (impots.gouv) you must create your personal account. To do this, you need your tax number. If you do not have one, you can request it online at impots.gouv. in the tab “Your private space” then in “Where to find your tax number?” and finally “Receive your tax number by email”. Often, the administration takes the lead and sends you a letter during the spring containing the information to enable you to declare your income. It gives you your tax number as well as an access number to connect. It will then be up to you to choose a password and to add a reference tax income equal to 0 for your first declaration. If this is not the case and you have not received anything, call the ‘administration. A number has been set up for this: 0.809.401.401 (free service + cost of the call), accessible Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. This is the simplest solution, a public finance officer will guide you.

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In addition, if you do not have the Internet at home, you have the possibility of completing a declaration in paper format (form 2042). You can either download and print it (here) or collect a copy from the public finance center in your place of residence. On this document, you will have to tick on the cover page, at the very top, the box “You are filing a declaration for the first time”. You should not forget to attach a copy of an identity document to your tax return (identity card, passport, family record book, residence permit). This proof of your identity will also be requested if you create your private space online.

What income must be declared?

Do you wonder about the nature of the income that must be brought to the attention of the tax authorities? The rule is actually quite simple. Bercy reminds that “you must declare all the income of the members of the tax household received during the year preceding the declaration”. This includes in particular the income from a salaried activity, such as a summer job in parallel with your studies. They must be entered on the tax return in the category “Salaries and wages (boxes 1AJ) if they exceed (in this specific case) the annual limit of 4,809.36 euros (three times the monthly minimum wage). If you have received non-salaried income (meal delivery, home lessons, etc.) as a micro-entrepreneur, for example, they must be indicated in a specific form (2042 C PRO).

Another point on which there is often doubt: the allowances and gratuities of internships in companies. These must be declared if you exceed the ceiling of the gross annual minimum wage, i.e. 18,760 euros. Finally, more specifically for future teachers, the administration specifies that “the preparatory year allowances and the allowances of the university teacher training institute (IUFM)” must also be declared.

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Even if this is your first declaration, you may, for example, have made a donation to an association (in 2021) or employ someone to look after your child. Like any taxpayer, you must mention the employment of an employee, a donation to an association or the payment of alimony to benefit from tax advantages (deduction from taxable income, tax reduction or credit, etc.). Online, information related to childcare costs or donations to associations should be mentioned in box 7GA and following. If you declare in paper version, it is an annex document that you must complete the 2042 RICI (tax reductions – tax credits).

Deadlines to respect

Remember that the tax return must be completed within the time allowed by the tax authorities. There is a deadline to respect, under penalty of a 10% increase in the amount of your tax. This spring, the tax authorities have set the following dates: May 24, if your department is between 01 (Ain) and 19 (Corrèze); May 31, for the departments between 20 (Corsica) and 54 (Meurthe-et-Moselle) and June 8, for the rest of the departments between 55 (Meuse) and 976 (Mayotte).

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Back in France after a period abroad

After a period of expatriation abroad, you returned to France in 2021. You must therefore file your first tax return this spring as a tax resident. You should also be aware that you are subject to the same deadlines as other taxpayers. If you had no income from a French source during your expatriation, you must “file a classic income tax return (2042) at your tax office”, as Marie-Laure Decobert, wealth engineer at SwissLife Private Bank, told Capital. . It’s a little more complicated otherwise, because you must then complete two declarations: an NR (non-resident) declaration for income from French sources received until your return to France; and a traditional 2042 declaration for income received since your return until the end of 2021.

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