Soon spring, the return of good weather and… the tax return, even if in reality, the deduction at source, whether you are retired or active, makes life much easier in terms of procedures. However, for couples, there are some subtleties that can create inequalities.
The famous withholding tax, implemented since January 1, 2019, allows the tax to be deducted directly from the income by the collector (the employer or the pension fund, Pôle Emploi, Health insurance) according to a deduction rate calculated by the tax authorities.
If the maneuver is simple, it is advisable to ask a certain number of questions when you are a married couple. Indeed, no matter who earns how much, the calculation of your tax pools the overall income of the couple. Moreover, once your union is celebrated, it should be reported very quickly to update the calculation of income tax.
Moreover, as specified by the public service, spouses or Pacs partners, if they are subject to joint taxation, are jointly and severally liable for tax purposes. They must therefore pay the tax due together. In the absence of payment, the tax authorities can claim the tax indiscriminately from one or other of the members of the couple. This rule applies even in the event of separation. Each will have to pay the debts of the other.
To promote equality between women and men, the government is working on a law proposing a specific rate for each member of the married or PACS couple which takes into account the income earned by each.
Currently, the personalized rate, common to both members of the couple, is applied by default. However, it implies an obvious imbalance since it reduces the tax rate of the spouse with the highest income by 13 points, and increases that of the spouse with the lowest income by 6 points. Statistically, women have the lowest incomes. They are therefore much more often disadvantaged by this personalized rate rule when they marry. Moreover, the common rate can sometimes discourage women from working full time.
However, it is possible to choose the individualized rate for married or PACS couples, but it is not automatic: you must activate it in your personal space on impots.gouv.fr.
Invited to the program C à vous on France 5, Monday March 6, 2023, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced that the tax rate would be individualized by default for all French tax households from 2025. This is also the central point of a bill carried by the deputy Marie-Pierre Rixain symbolically tabled on March 8 in the National Assembly aimed at accelerating tax and inheritance equality between women and men. In addition to the individualized rate, the MEP also proposes to abolish the tax levied on compensatory benefits after a divorce, to facilitate the discharge of solidarity to prevent women from settling the tax debts of their ex-spouse or even to restore the equality of nature in inheritance.