Anyone registered as a micro-entrepeneur (or “ME”) in France is required to a submit a declaration (Déclaration Trimestrielle de Recettes), which is used to determine the amount of cotisations (social charges) you will pay. You can choose do this monthly or, as I prefer, quarterly. These declarations and the amounts you are required to pay (called cotisations) are separate from taxation and are your “social charges” (called “national insurance” or “social security” in other parts of the world) are based on the amount of money you’ve been paid during the period you are declaring for. The good news is this can all be done online and, as long as you’ve been keeping on top of your income, it’s pretty quick and easy to do.
In this article I’ll walk you through the steps to do this online via the main Auto Entrepreneur website. The steps assume that you’ve already registered and have an online account with them.
This article is now out of date. The website has been updated so the steps are a little different – but the principal is the same.
When should I make my declaration?
The quarters align with the January to December tax year, so:
- January, February, and March are the 1éme trimestre (first quarter.)
- April, May, and June are the 2éme trimestre (second quarter.)
- July, August, September are the 3éme trimestre (third quarter.)
- October, November, December are the 4éme trimestre (fourth quarter.)
What amount should I report?
The end of the quarter is always a good time (if you haven’t already done it) to tie up your receipts with your bank account and make sure your cashbook is all up-to-date.
Once everything’s in order you should have a single amount as the total were paid in the quarter. This means the total amount of payments received in this period. It doesn’t matter when you invoiced a client; it’s when you were paid by them. Remember to include cash payments, and any payments to PayPal. And as an ME you can’t deduct costs, so that’s the amount you were paid by your client, not how much you received after fees or other costs have been deducted (e.g., Etsy or PayPal fees.)
If you’re operating in more than one of the three ME categories (professional liberale, artisan, and/or commercant) you will need a total for the quarter payments to each of your business types. You account for them separately because they are treated differently with respect to tax and allowances for purchases, so this is a worthwhile exercise as well as a legal requirement.
You need to log in in the month after the end of the quarter you need to report on. So in April you submit the info for the first quarter, then in July for the second quarter, and so on.
You do need to wait until the end of the quarter to submit this information. If you try and submit it before then you will struggle because the option won’t be available. When you log in when the system is ready, it will automatically open at the declaration page. That’s how you know it’s time.
Ready? Let’s try.
Make your Quarterly Declaration Online
Step 1. Login to your account on the Auto Entrepreneur website. You can do this using your email address (courriel) or your 13-digit social security number (N° de Sécurité sociale), which you can find on your carte vitale.
Step 2. If any cotisations are due (usually on the 1st of January, April, July, and October, for the preceding quarter), the first page you will go to is the Déclaration Trimestrielle de Recettes. This shows your name, your SIRET number, and your category. Here’s the info on my account.
Step 3. Under Declaration, enter the amounts you have earned in the appropriate box.
There are three rows, which correspond to the different categories of business: professional liberale, artisan, and commercant. You fill out the boxes according to the amount you’ve made in the previous quarter under the category for each regime. This is because, although many people are only registered under one category, it is possible to be registered for more than one type of business.
When you put a number into one of more of these boxes, the lower section labelled Montant á payer, updates to show the amounts you are expected to pay. After you submit your declaration, the the amount shown under the heading Télépaiement will be taken automatically from your linked business bank account, usually in the first week of following month.
If you need to make changes to your account details, click on the blue text that says Ajouter un compte bancaire and then follow the instructions.
Step 4. Submit the Form
When you’re happy with the information this page, click Valider la télédéclaration to submit the form. This will take you to a confirmation page which gives you a record of the quarterly declaration you just made. Print this page and/or save a PDF to your computer to keep for your accounts.
It will also indicate when the payment will be taken from your account. Take note of this and make sure you have the funds in your account on that date.
That’s it, you’re done!
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