A new year often signals new laws which impact our daily lives and our pocketbooks. As of January 1, 2018, here are some changes to medical bills and tax reforms passed by President Emmanuel Macron’s government which will affect expatriates living and working in France.
If your child is born after January 1, 2018, 11 vaccinations instead of 3 are now obligatory. Added to the list are whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, Hepatitis B, bacterium Haemophilus influenzae and Meningovoque C.
The price of dental work will fluctuate depending on the service. The cost of false teeth and crowns will be steadily capped from next year, although the amount reimbursed for a crown will drop in 2019. However, the costs of more regular treatments like a filling will go up from €41 to €67 in 2018.
Parking ticket prices will increase as will parking fines. Each city is allowed to set the price for parking meters and fines. For example, the fine for cars not displaying a ticket will rise to €50 in central Paris and €35 elsewhere.
Velib rental bikes have a new look and management in Paris and 68 communes. The new Velib under Smovengo hits the streets in 2018 and so do new prices. The classic subscription for one year increases by 30 percent to €37,20. It’s still a great deal to get around the city — and one third of the bikes are electric!
To reduce the number of polluting cars on the roads, the French government is offering between €1000 to €2000 to automobilists who sell their old cars (before 1997 for gas cars and 2001 to 2006 for Diesel). If you buy an electric car, you get a bonus of €500 added to the trade in.
Expect less waiting time at customs in French airports. The government has promised that Europeans should wait 30 minutes less and non-Europeans wait 45 minutes less in lines to show their passports. Hard to say how long travelers have waited in line after a long flight.
Essentials Cost More
Gas will heat up at the beginning of the year. Expect to pay as much as 6.9 percent more due to revised taxes to keep your home warm and the burners cooking.
Gasoline at the pumps rises too by €7,6 per liter for diesel and €3,84 per liter for gasoline.
Smokers will pay 20 centimes less on certain brands such as Winston and Camel as of January 2 before prices increase by €1,10 for most packets in March. Go figure.
The price of stamps increases by around 5 percent at the beginning of 2018. So a green stamp will rise from 73 centimes to 80 centimes, and red stamps (for priority letters) will rise from 85 centimes to 95 centimes.
Revenue and Declaration of Tax
Minimum wage (SMIC) by the hour increases 1,24 percent to €9,88. Overall, this represents a €20 increase each month. The monthly minimum wage will be €1,498 for a regular 35-hour week.
Habitation tax should be reduced by one third for single persons and families.
ISF is dead; long live IFL. Tax on fortune becomes tax on property above €1,3 million value.
Chèque énergie will be available to help precarious households which can’t pay their heating bills.
Independent workers (Travailleurs Independents) will pay slightly less in social charges in two areas due to a reform of the notorious RSI (Régime social des indépendants). Freelancers can benefit from paying 2,15 percent in family social charges. Every bit of savings helps.
Registered auto-entrepreneurs can double their revenue under this regime. Good news for the self-employed, who can now earn up to €70,000 providing professional services and up to €170,000 for commercial activities as an auto-entrepreneur (also known as micro-entrepreneur) and pay minimum social charges.
Tourism and Entertainment
Airbnb has restrictions. In the center of Paris, the rental of furnished apartments in the 1st to 4th arrondissments are limited to 120 days a year.
Public gambling card houses can operate on a trial basis for three years. Prior to this change, poker players had to find private clubs to play their hands.