It was good news in 2021. Much less in 2022. Perhaps you received exceptional income last year, such as a retirement indemnity, a voluntary departure bonus in the public service, or even a doorstep (entrance fee for the rental of a commercial lease)? If this is the case, be aware that this income, just like a purchase from a retirement savings plan (PER), must be mentioned in your tax return. And are therefore taxed at the income tax scale.
As a result, without action on your part, your taxable income can jump and, in certain situations, make you “jump” from the marginal tax bracket (TMI), for example, make you go from a non-taxable taxpayer to a TMI of 11%, even 30%, or send you directly into the 41% bracket. In other words, you could be very unpleasantly surprised when you sign your tax return on impots.gouv.fr.
Concrete example for a married taxpayer without children. If he received a retirement bonus of 16,000 euros in 2021, when the regular household income is usually 50,000 euros, his income tax calculated on the 2022 tax return is set at €5,664, against 2,616 euros in normal times. Or a tax differential of 3,048 euros and an invoice multiplied by 2.2!
The quotient mechanism
If you are in this situation, the tax authorities allow you to “smooth” this additional tax thanks to the quotient mechanism. “If you unlock your retirement savings plan, for example, this additional income is taxed at your marginal tax bracket. To avoid the negative impact of this marginal effect, the quotient makes it possible to divide by four the amount bought back, to add it to the usual income and to calculate the additional tax bill which will be multiplied by four”, explains the associate director of Eres, company specializing in retirement and employee savings, Pierre-Emmanuel Sassonia. Simply put, the tax increase is limited.
Illustration with our example. To obtain the result of the quotient, it is first necessary to calculate the tax on ordinary income – of 50,000 euros -, i.e. €2,616. Then to calculate the tax corresponding to these same incomes, increased by a quarter of the departure bonus of 16,000 euros, or 4,000 euros, for a total of 54,000 euros. This results in a tax of €3,097. Then, you have to calculate the difference between the tax paid on the usual income raised by a quarter of the premium, therefore 3,097 euros, and that paid on ordinary income alone, 2,616 euros, then multiply it by four. Or 481 euros (3,097 – 2,616) x 4 = €1,924. Finally, to find the tax obtained thanks to the quotient, it is necessary to add this additional tax to the usual result of 2,616 euros, i.e. a total of 4,540 euros. In the end, the tax gain therefore reaches 1,124 euros (5,664 – 4,540).
“The quotient mechanism works very well, and even better than that of the spread removed since the 2020 income tax, appreciates Pierre-Emmanuel Sassonia. It makes it possible to remain within consistent tax levels in relation to the taxpayer’s situation. And in our example, the tax savings still represent 20% of the tax bill!