Exemption from taxation



Members of Diplomatic Missions may benefit from an exemption from taxation as well as a relief from customs duty on some goods. The extent of these advantages may vary depending on the status of agents.

Exemption from taxation

Diplomatic agents, administrative and technical staff, consular officers, consular employees and service staff, together with members of their families forming part of their household (spouses and dependent minor children not gainfully employed in France) are exempt from all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional or municipal, except:

  • indirect taxes of a kind which are normally incorporated into the price of goods or services;
  • dues and taxes on private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving State, …
  • estate, succession or inheritance duties levied by the receiving State, … ;
  • dues and taxes on private income having its source in the receiving State and capital taxes on investments made in commercial [or financial] undertakings in the receiving State;
  • charges levied for specific services rendered;
  • registration, court or record fees, mortgage dues and stamp duty, … ; (VCDR, 1961, Articles 34 and 37; VCCR, 1963, Article 49)

Agents possessing French nationality (including dual nationals) and permanent residents may not benefit from the provisions described below. This also applies to their dependents (spouse, minor children) if they are French nationals or permanent residents.

Value added tax (vat) and excise duties

VAT is an indirect tax incorporated in the price of goods and services. Therefore, VAT on the purchase of property and services intended to meet the requirements of foreign agents posted to France is not refunded in France.

However, as a courtesy, certain purchases of property or products on the domestic market may be exempted from duty and taxation under certain conditions:

  • personal vehicles of agents holding a "CMD", "CD", "CC" or "AT" residence permit (see supra)
  • products subject to quotas such as liquor and fuels are the subject of annual quotas allocated to Missions within the limits set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Finance and Industry.

Other taxes

  • Income tax

"Save as otherwise provided in international tax agreements that may impose compliance with certain conditions or rule differently, members of diplomatic or consular missions who are not French nationals or permanent residents are deemed to be resident in the sending State. Their official remuneration is not taxable in France. Other income is taxable according to the rules applicable to non-resident taxpayers in France. Thus, in particular, private income from a foreign source is exempt from income tax. On the other hand, private income from a French source (income from land and real estate, movable capital, etc.) remains taxable in France save as otherwise provided in international tax agreements."

"The exercise of a gainful private activity (income from industrial and commercial activities or non-commercial activities, from salaries) deprives a diplomat and the members of his family of the status of non-resident and of tax privileges. Furthermore, dependants authorized to engage in paid employment in France are liable to tax, as residents are, as provided under general law."

Honorary consular officers are relieved from income tax only for the allowances they receive to cover expenses incurred in the exercise of their functions.

  • Local taxes

Property tax is payable by the owner of the premises. Only the official residence of heads of diplomatic and consular missions, which is part of the official premises, is relieved from the payment of property tax. Other properties are not exempt from property tax.

Residence tax is payable by the tenant or the persons who occupy the premises rent-free.

Agents listed opposite may be relieved from the payment of residence tax only for their main residence and possibly, under certain conditions and as a courtesy, for the second residence of the head of diplomatic mission

  • diplomatic agents
  • career consular officers
  • administrative and technical staff
  • consular employees
  • service staff

Applications for residence tax exemption, to be sent to Protocol Department together with the tax notice, must show the:

  • family name and given names of the appointee
  • full number of the special residence permit
  • date of the agent’s arrival to the domicile whose address is shown on the notice(s) issued by the tax services

Registration fees and land registration tax

No relief is granted for acquisitions of premises for residential purposes, as they are governed by general law as regards payment of those taxes.

Estate, succession or inheritance duties

"The succession of a member of a diplomatic or consular mission will be dealt with as if it were opened abroad. Consequently, duties are payable on property situated in France subject to the possible application of double taxation conventions in respect of estate, succession or inheritance duties."

Wealth tax

"Diplomatic agents are liable to pay wealth tax on their property in France (private immovable property, securities and company rights in French businesses)."

Single tax on insurance contracts

Life insurance or annuity contracts taken out in France are exempt from the single tax on insurance contracts. On the other hand, this tax is applicable to other policies (car insurance for personal vehicles; fire risk for the residence and the furniture in it).

Other taxes

Audiovisual tax

Possible relief for:

  • diplomatic agents
  • career consular officers
  • administrative and technical staff
  • consular employees
  • service staff

Aplications for audiovisual tax relief are to be sent to Protocol Department showing the residence permit number and including the statements received from the audiovisual licence fee services.

  • Dues and taxes levied for specific services rendered such as road sweeping, connection to the sewer network, refuse collection, and airport tax (included in the price of the plane ticket), must always be paid.

Updated : July 2012