April: tax return time

26 Apr 2022

In France, artists’ income is subject to payroll tax or to self-employment income tax.

image avril

Drawing by Jean-Philippe Peyraud


Only royalties paid by publishers, producers or Collective Management Organizations such as ADAGP come under payroll tax. A 10% tax allowance applies to the amount to determine your taxable base.
All other compensation must be declared as self-employment income: transfer of copyright other than that mentioned above, sale of works or originals, so-called "ancillary" activities, etc.

You may choose to declare all your artistic income as self-employment income, including that paid by publishers, producers and copyright societies.


There are two tax options in the self-employment income system in France:

  • "Micro BNC": with a 34% tax allowance corresponding to a fixed estimate of your professional expenses;
  • “Déclaration contrôlée": this option allows you to deduct your actual professional expenses, which is more advantageous for you if they exceed 34% of your revenue.

To avoid a 25% increase of your taxable base, you must have your accounts certified by a ”Centre de Gestion Agréé” (to be confirmed with your tax agency).
Please note: the decree dated 28/08/2020 redefines the so-called main activities and the so-called ancillary activities for artists-authors.



Whatever your income tax option, instalments are now drawn on your bank account (on a current, monthly or quarterly basis as you prefer). Calculated until July on the basis of your income reported 2 years earlier, then from August to December on the basis of your income reported 1 year earlier, the amount deducted is updated in September every year. 

If your income changes significantly, you can have your advance payment adjusted by request on www.impôts.gouv.fr.
Please note:
A penalty will be applied if there is too large a difference between the adjustment requested during the year and the actual income declared in May of the following year.

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