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Impôts 2024: 5 most common tax return mistakes

Two people doing their tax returns

The 2024 tax return for 2023 starts today, Thursday 11 April. To help you with this process, which is associated with errors and omissions every year, Capital Conseils² offers some advice.

Now is the time to declare your 2023 income online! The 2024 tax campaign has just started and runs until 23 May at 23:59 for départements 01 to 19 and non-residents.

The procedure can be a real headache: what information should you enter? In which box? Our firm can help you make the declaration.

The first common mistake: Incorrectly estimating the rate of donations to charities and associations.

Donating to an association entitles you to a reduction in income tax, which can vary from 66% to 75% of the amount paid and cannot exceed 20% of taxable income.

"The rate will depend on the type of association and the amount of the donation. In the general case, it is 66% of the amount donated and cannot exceed 20% of taxable income. It is 75% up to a limit of €1,000 for organisations that help people in difficulty or, since 15 September 2023, the Fondation du patrimoine. Each rate has its own box: 7UF, 7UD or 7UJ".

Donations must be disinterested and not be made in exchange for something in return. This applies to sums of money, gifts in kind (the value of which will be determined when they are handed over to the beneficiary), or expenses incurred by volunteers in the course of their associative activities, for which they waive reimbursement.

"When you make a donation to an association, it must give you a tax receipt as proof. This is not required when you make your tax return, but you should keep it in case the tax authorities carry out an audit.

Second mistake: Not declaring your children's school fees

You can claim a tax deduction for the school fees of children in your care. The amount depends on the level of education: 61 euros at collège, 153 euros at lycée, and 183 euros in higher education provided the child has no contract of employment with an employer.

Please note that your adult child must be included in your tax household. Once again, you do not need to provide the school attendance certificate when you file your tax return (line 7EA and following), but it is advisable to have it to hand in the event of an audit.

Third common mistake: declaring dependent children incorrectly

Speaking of children, BE CAREFUL: a child cannot be declared simultaneously by both parents as their sole dependant. In the case of alternating custody, tax shares are divided equally between the two separate households. If you do not have custody of your child, you cannot include him or her in your tax household... But remember to deduct the child support you pay!

"In the case of adult children, parents often make the mistake of combining attachment to the tax household with deduction of the child support they pay. It's not possible, it's one or the other. You have to ask yourself which is the better choice.

Maintenance payments must be declared by both the parent paying and the parent receiving them. For maintenance paid to adult children who are not attached for tax purposes, the ceiling is limited to €6,674.


Fourth mistake: Not ticking box T for single parents

If you are single, separated, or divorced, living alone with at least one dependent child or a disabled person living with you, don't forget to tick the "lone parent (T)" box. This entitles you to an extra half-tax credit. For the 2024 campaign, which opens on 11 April, the family situation on 1 January 2023 will in principle be taken into account.

The last common mistake: delaying the correction of errors

If you forget anything or make mistakes on your tax return, don't delay in correcting them, with the help of your preferred advisor.

"Taxpayers have the option of modifying their return online at any time during the opening period of the 2024 campaign. An online correction period generally opens later in the year. Even after this deadline, changes can still be made, but the process is more complex.

If you file your tax return late, your tax bill may be increased by between 10% and 80%, plus monthly penalties. If in doubt, you can refer to the website, which lists around fifteen other common errors when completing your tax return.

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