Domestic services cover activities designed to help individuals in their daily life and which are carried out either entirely in the individuals’ homes, partly outside their homes, or in the close vicinity.
1 – Activities concerned by domestic services
Decree n°2005-1698 of29th December 2005 of the Borloo Plan set out the list of activities covered by article L.129-1 of the French Labour Code (Article L.7231-1 of the new Labour Code). This decree was amended by Decree nº 2007-854 of 14th May 2007 article 1 III published in the Official Journal of 15th May 2007, then again in 2009 by the Wauquiez Plan
3 types of services to individuals are described:
• services to the family
• services in everyday life
• services to dependent persons.
1.1 Family-related services
• Childcare in the home,• Childcare in other premises by a qualified child-minder,• Escorting children when travelling,• Academic support or individual lessons in the home,• Assistance in the home with computers and internet, including delivery of computer equipment, installation and implementation of computer hardware and software, software maintenance,• Administrative assistance in the home.
1.2 Everyday domestic services
• Day-to-day up-keep of the home and domestic chores,• Collection and delivery of ironing,• Small gardening jobs, including shrub removal (using your own equipment),• Small DIY jobs (which don’t require specific professional abilities),• Maintenance, up-keep and temporary supervision of your home or holiday home,• Shopping and preparation of meals,• Delivery of meals to your home,• Delivery of shopping to your home,• Recourse to a national entity, i.e. via telephone or internet search to refer the individual to professionals providing domestic services,• Video and telephone assistance (remote assistance to put the individual in touch with a call centre or emergency services).
1.3 Services to dependent persons (services not provided by Mademoiselle Julie)
• Care, excluding medical care,• Assistance to elderly or dependent persons to carry out every tasks, excepting medical care,• Assistance to handicapped persons to carry out everyday tasks, including the use of a sign language interpreter, a technician specialised in writing or coding cued speech,• Mobility assistance and transport of individuals• Escort of elderly or handicapped persons for travelling (outings, public transport, activities of daily life),• Driving the individual’s vehicle from home to workplace, to holiday residence or to carry out administrative requirements,• Beauty treatment for dependent persons,• Care and walking of pets, with the exception of veterinary care and grooming.
2 – Recourse to these activities
In order to use these services, the individual must either:
• Recruit, take on and directly supervise a paid worker• Call on an official organisation registered to deal with services to individuals
In the latter case, the organisation concerned must register its activities with the “l’Agence Nationale des Services à la Personne”, ANSP (National Agency for Services to Individuals) who in turn requires the organisation to agree to respect certain requirements and to up-date the ANSP regularly on the activities provided. This official statement replaces the former situation where a plain authorisation was sufficient and is guarantees professionalism. It is only after these procedures that the official logo may be used.
Concerning certain activities providing domestic services to vulnerable groups (children under the age of 3, elderly or handicapped persons), official accreditation is required, for which the terms of reference are different. The current official accreditation replaces the former quality accreditation.
3 – Tax benefits for users
When you use domestic services, either directly or via a state-registered firm such as Mademoiselle Julie, you may be entitled to various tax benefits under the terms of article L. 129-1of the French labour code:
• If you are considered as resident in France for tax purposes, tax benefits can take the form of either a tax credit for a non-taxable person or a reduction in income tax.
• In addition, if you use the services of a state-registered domestic service provider, the 10% reduced rate of VAT applies, with the exception of five activities which are taxed at 20%(small gardening jobs, computer related assistance in the home, temporary maintenance and surveillance on-site of permanent place of residence and second home).
3.1 Amount of tax credit or tax reductions
• The amount of tax credit or income tax reductions represents 50% of payments made for domestic services:
– either in the form of an income tax credit equal to 50% of expenses incurred by persons in employment or persons who have been seeking employment for at least three months during the year in which the expenses were incurred,
– or in the form of an income tax rebates equal to 50% of expenses incurred by those in other situations (pensioners, etc..).
• You must however deduct from declared expenses all allowances you have received to finance these domestic services:
– contributions paid by your employer or workers’ council on ‘CESU’ pre-financed service vouchers–‘PAJE’ child benefit allowances etc. paid by the “Caisse d’allocations familiales” (child benefit fund)- aids granted by the General council (‘APA’, independence social allowance, ‘PCH’ disability compensation benefit, etc.)
3.2 Ceiling amount of reduction
• The amount of tax credit or tax reduction is based on a maximum ceiling for annual expenses which varies according to your personal tax status:
– Maximum ceiling for expenses of 12,000 €, i.e.6,000 € tax reduction for a tax households under general conditions,- Maximum ceiling for expenses of 13,500 €, i.e.6,750 € tax reduction for tax households with one child or if 1 member of the tax household is over 65 years of age- Maximum ceiling for expenses of 15,000 €, i.e. 7,500 € tax reduction for tax households with several children or if at least 2 members of the tax household are over 65 years of age- Maximum ceiling for expenses of 20,000 €, i.e. 10,000 € tax reduction for dependent persons.
• The maximum ceiling for annual expenses is limited with respect to certain domestic services:
– 500 € for small DIY jobs, i.e. 250 € tax reduction per household – 5,000 € for small gardening jobs, i.e. 2,500 € tax reduction per household- 3,000 € for computer-related and internet assistance in the home, i.e. 1,500 € tax reduction per household.
• In addition, the amount of tax benefits relating to domestic services is limited by the general ceiling for tax niches which was fixed at 10,000 €by French financial legislation in 2013.
3.3 Changes made in 2013 and planned for 2014
3.3.1 1st January 2013• The flat-rate basis of calculation for contributions was abolished. Article 14 of 2013 legislation relating to the financing of the French Social security system introduced the compulsory calculation of contributions on the actual salary paid, i.e. on the basis of the total salary paid and not on the basis of the “SMIC” (minimum wage).• A flat-rate deduction of 0.75 € became applicable on each hour of work declared and may not be combined with the exemption of the employer’s share of Social security contributions granted in respect of age or state of health.
3.3.2 1st July 2013• VAT increase on certain services to individuals: at the request of the European Commission and in order to standardise VAT rates at European level, the standard VAT rate of 19.6% in France became applicable on five services to individuals: small gardening jobs, home-study lessons (excluding academic support), computer-related assistance in the home, maintenance and temporary surveillance in the home of the main place of residence and second home, and intermediation. Services provided by delegated organisations are also concerned by the VAT rate of 19.6%. The list of domestic services to individuals for which reduced VAT rates are applicable is set out in Decree n°2013-510 of 17th June 2013.
• Raising of the ceiling of annual expenses relating to certain domestic services to the individual: to compensate for the VAT increase, Decree n° 2013-524 of 19th June 2013 raised by 2,000 € the ceiling for expenses giving rise to tax credit for small gardening jobs (from 3,000 € to 5,000 €) and computer-related assistance in the home (from 1,000 € to 3,000 €).
3.3.3 Changes planned as at 1st January 2014• New VAT rates are applicable in France in 2014.Law n°2012-1510 of 29th December 2012, third amending finance law for 2012, fixed in its article 68 the VAT rates as follows from 1st January 2014 :
– the standard rate is increased from19.6 to 20%- the middle rate is increased from 7 to 10%.
4 – Dates and founding texts
4.1 Prior to 2005
• In 1991when Edith Cresson was Prime Minister, a law was passed allowing a tax reduction 50% on expenses incurred (wages+contributions) ithin a ceiling revised annually for the employment of domestic workers.
• In 1996when Alain Juppé was Prime Minister, a new law was passed allowing businesses to enter the domestic activity sector which had until then been occupied exclusively by independent workers and associations.
• In 2000, the VAT rate applicable to businesses in the sector was lowered from 19.6 to 5.5 %.
4.2 The Borloo Plan of 2005
• On 26th July 2005, Law n°2005-841(included in article D.129-356 which has since become article D7231-17 of the French labour code) introducing the “Borloo Plan”, named after the Minister for Social Cohesion at that time, was published in the Official journal and introduced :
– The new expression “services to individuals”, ….- A simplification of administrative procedures,- The creation of a specific organisation, the “ANSP” (National Agency for Services to Individuals), combining the competences of around ten different ministries – The implementation of a specific fiscal and social regime including related advantages, and a specific means of payment by universal service voucher known as the “CESU”.
4.3 Between 2005 and 2012
• In 2009, the ANSP announced the second phase of the plan for development of services to individuals, the Wauquiez Plan, which replaced the Borloo Plan. 11 new measures were implemented including eligibility of five additional services.
• On 1st January 2012, the reduced VAT rate of 5.5%was increased 7%, with the exception of services linked to “essential gestures” of everyday life for dependent persons, which remained at 5.5% (article 13 of the 2011 amended finance law of 28th December 2011).
5 – References and statutory texts
5.1 Founding texts
• Law n° 2005-841 of 26th July 2005 relating to the development of services to individuals and implementing several measures in favour of social cohesion • Law n° 2010-853 of 23rd July 2010 relating to consular networks, to commerce, to craftwork and to services (article 31)
5.2 Activities relating to services to individuals
• Decree n°2005-1698 of 29th December 2005 • Decree n°2007-854 of 14th May 2007 • Article D. 7231-1 of the French Labour code
5.3 Tax benefits
• Tax directive n°6 of 14thJanuary 2008 –Directorate General for taxation • Decree n°2011-1132 of 20th September 2011• Law n° 2010-1657 of 29th December 2010 on finance for 2011• Article 13 of the amended 2011 law of finance of 28th December 2011.• Decree n°2013-510 of 17thJune 2013• Decree n° 2013-524 of 19th June 2013• Article 14 of the law covering the financing of the Social security regime for 2013
• Service Public (official site for French administration): “Activities relating to services to individuals”
• ANSP: National agency for services to individuals