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How to claim a refund on French social charges

PUBLISHED: 13:12 08 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:12 08 December 2015

Paperwork © Dreamstime

Paperwork © Dreamstime

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Non-residents and others who are entitled to a refund on the social charges they paid in France in 2013 have until 31 December 2015 to submit a refund claim. Here's how to do it

Following the Conseil d’État’s ruling in July that the application of social charges on French income-generating assets of persons affiliated with a social security system of another member state of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland is against European law, the French tax administration has confirmed that social charges paid can be claimed back if certain conditions are met.

A refund can be claimed if applicants are registered under a social security scheme of another state other than France located within the EU, EEA or Switzerland. Applicants who do not reside in France can claim the social charges paid on their French property rental income or on the gains when the property was sold. Those living in France can claim back the social charges paid on their assets income as well as their investment products.

The total rate of social charges is 15.5%, but the French tax administration confirmed that the 2% solidarity levy (prélèvement de solidarité) paid before 1 January 2015 is not affected by the de Ruyter case, as this tax does not finance the French social security system.

“Under French law, any tax claim must be issued by 31 December of the second year following the year in which the tax was paid,” explains Loïc Raboteau of Francophile Legal Consulting. “Non-residents who paid social charges in 2013 on their 2012 incomes are reminded that they have until 31 December 2015 to submit a claim for a refund. Similarly, non-residents who sold a French property in 2013 and have been subjected to social charges are able to claim the corresponding tax until 31 December 2015.

You can submit your claim to your local tax office, or if you are a non-resident to the Service des impôts des particuliers non-résidents, either in writing or by logging onto your personal space on the website impots.gouv.fr and going to the Réclamer (make a claim) section. You will need to provide documents proving the charges paid and proving that you are affiliated with a social security regime in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland. It is recommended to seek legal advice before sending a claim to ensure it has been drafted correctly and all supporting documentation is included.

What are French social charges?

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