Income tax declaration in France

Applicable to:  Members of the personnel

General

Each year, the Organization levies an internal tax (calculated according to the CERN scale) on the financial and family benefits that it pays to the members of the personnel. Members of the personnel are therefore exempt from national taxation on salaries and emoluments paid by CERN.

This page is intended to provide members of the personnel domiciled in France with general information on how salaries and emoluments paid by CERN should be indicated on the income declaration form.
The information given below does not absolve members of the personnel from the requirement to comply with the national tax laws applicable to them (c.f. Article S V 2.02 of the Staff Rules), especially those of the Host State in which they reside, with which they must be acquainted and by which they must abide.

For any other income, members of the personnel are should refer to the notes sent out with the income declaration form. The local Service des impôts des particuliers (SIP, private citizens’ tax office) will then determine the applicable taxation, if any.

Procedure

In addition, in order to help members of the personnel to complete their income declaration forms, the Bellegarde-sur-Valserine SIP has prepared a document containing responses to the most common questions received by the HR Department, which the Organization has decided to publish in agreement with the SIP. A recording of the public meeting that took place on 19 March 2014 to discuss these questions, including the presentation by representatives of the Bellegarde SIP, is also available.

Please address all specific questions directly to your local SIP (Service des impôts des Particuliers).

1. When and how to obtain the declaration form

Members of the personnel should receive an income declaration form at the beginning of May. Those who do not receive one automatically, and in particular those declaring their income in France for the first time, should obtain one from their local SIP, Centre des Finances Publique (treasury) or town hall. Forms can also be downloaded from the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s tax administration website.

Anyone considered to be “domiciled in France” (see point 1.1 of the document prepared by the Bellegarde-sur-Valserine SIP) must complete a declaration. Consequently, members of the personnel must themselves determine whether or not they are “domiciled in France” by referring to the criteria laid down by the SIP, notably:

  • if their primary residence is in France (in particular if their spouses/partners and/or children reside with them); or
  • if they reside in France for more than 183 days (6 months) per year without significant absences.

However, only the SIP can assess individual circumstances. In the case of a specific problem, members of the personnel should contact their local SIP.

2. How to complete the declaration form

All members of the personnel (irrespective of the category of personnel to which they belong) domiciled in France, whether or not they are of French nationality, must declare their status as a member of the CERN personnel on the income declaration form as described in chapter 2.1 below, indicate any other income as described in the notes sent out with to the income declaration form and send the signed form to their local SIP between 1 May and 18 May.
The deadline for submitting a declaration form on paper is Wednesday, 17 May 2017, date as per postmark (including for members of the personnel non-resident in France and obliged to submit a declaration).

N.B.: CERN pensioners
Chapter 2.1 below does not apply to CERN pensioners as they are liable for tax, including on the pension paid by CERN, under ordinary French law.

2.1 Income received from CERN

Members of the personnel must complete either the PAPER form or the online declaration. In any case:

  1. Under the heading “Traitements, Salaires” in Part 1 of the form, they must not indicate the amount of the financial and family benefits paid by CERN, which are subject to internal taxation by the Organization.
  2. They must tick box FV, "Divers", in Part 8 of the form.
  3. They are advised to state in the section "Eléments complémentaires" on page 2 or on a separate sheet if this part is already pre-filled: “Membre du personnel du CERN assujetti à l’impôt interne du CERN et, à ce titre, exonéré d’impôt sur les traitements et émoluments versés par le CERN.” (Member of the CERN personnel subject to internal CERN taxation and therefore exempt from taxation on the salary and emoluments paid by CERN).
  4. The annual internal taxation certificate that is issued in accordance with article R V 2.05 of the Staff Regulations
    - must be attached to the paper declaration, or
    - is to be sent by postal mail to the local SIP (Service des impôts des Particuliers), completed with the reference number of the online declaration. Emails will not be taken into account.

2.2 Other income

For specific questions concerning how to fill in the various sections of the form to take into account any other income and their individual situation, members of the personnel are invited to refer to the notes sent out with to the declaration form (or available from the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s tax administration website) or to contact their local SIP directly. Useful information is also available in the document prepared by the Bellegarde SIP.

2.3 Foreign bank accounts

The SIPs, in particular the Bellegarde SIP, have issued a reminder that foreign bank accounts, including those into which salaries are paid, must be declared. This declaration must be renewed every year (cf. point 4.1 of the document prepared by the Bellegarde SIP).

3. Special Cases

3.1 Users and Associates

  1. All Users and Associates domiciled in France are obliged to complete an income declaration form.
    They are exempt from national taxation only on income from financial benefits paid by CERN and must therefore follow the procedure outlined in part 2.1 above for that income.

  2. Their other sources of income (for example, salaries paid by their home institutes) may be liable for tax in France and must therefore be declared to the local SIP, even if such income is taxable in the country of origin of the payment.

    • Income (for example, salaries paid by home institutes) is usually subject to tax in the country of origin. In some cases, it may be subject to a double taxation agreement between France (the country of residence) and the country of origin, in which case it is taxed either in France or in the country of origin.

    • If they receive from an institute outside France remuneration that is already taxed abroad, they must state in the section "Renseignements complémentaires" on page 2: “Membre du personnel du CERN (utilisateur/attaché non payé [User/unpaid associate, as appropriate]), de nationalité … [their nationality], rémunéré par … [paid by: name and address of their employer], imposable en … [taxable in: the country where they are liable for income tax]”.

  3. The individuals concerned are invited to contact their local SIP regarding any specific issues relating to their declaration obligations.

3.2 Members of the personnel of Swiss nationality domiciled in France

Like everyone domiciled in France, they must complete the income declaration form (cf. above information).
Those who were formerly liable to pay direct federal tax (IFD) are no longer registered as taxpayers in the cantons, unless they continue to have a financial link with Switzerland. Those retaining a financial link with Switzerland (for example, if they own property in a canton) must also complete and return the Swiss income tax declaration form as described in the procedure Income tax declaration in Switzerland.

3.3 US citizens and green-card holders

CERN is not able to provide advice on these very specific situations and invites the members of the personnel concerned to contact their local SIP and/or the US consular authorities. They may also refer to the document prepared by the Bellegarde SIP.

4. Tax assessment notice sent by the SIP

Following their declaration, members of the personnel domiciled in France receive a document entitled “Avis d’impôt – Impôt sur les revenus”. This document states in particular that: “La déclaration que vous avez déposée ne comporte aucun revenu pour l'année X. Je vous informe que le présent avis ne constitue pas un justificatif d’absence de tout revenu. Vous avez perçu des revenus en provenance d’organismes internationaux, de missions diplomatiques ou consulaires exonérés d’impôt en France. Indiquez-les au bas de cet avis.” (The declaration form that you have filed indicates no income for year X. Please note that this avis d’impot does not constitute proof of the absence of any income. You have received income from international organisations or diplomatic or consular missions that is exempt from taxation in France. Indicate this income at the bottom of this avis.)

This document must not be returned to the SIP. Members of the personnel must keep it, however, as the French authorities may ask them to produce it as evidence of their tax position in France.
Further information may be obtained directly from the local SIP.

5. Housing and Residence Taxes in France

The information provided by CERN relate only to income tax.
Members of personnel are invited to contact a tax adviser ("ficduciaire") or relevant national tax authorities for more information, in particular about housing and residence taxes.

Nevertheless the French Tax Authorities would like to remind members of the personnel residing in France, that if they are eligible for Residence and Housing taxes ("taxe d’habitation" and/or "taxe foncière") and hold a French bank account, they may opt for monthly payments, direct debit at the time payment is due or on-line payment for both these taxes. A membership form can be obtained directly at the local tax office.
Further information is available on the website www.impots.gouv.fr.

Revisions 

No revision Modifications Approuved
1 Taxes procedure revised by the Legal Service following the public meeting that took place on 19 March 2014 with representatives of the Bellegarde SIP. 02.04.2014 
2 "Informations" section replaces "renseignements complémentaires" in the declaration form. 25.04.2016
3 Choice between paper and online declaration 26.04.2016
4 Update of the Questions and answers document prepared by the Bellegarde SIP 09.05.2016
5 The deadline for submitting a declaration form on paper is Wednesday, 17 May 2017. 06.04.2017