How to Get a Taxpayer Identification Number in France

If your primary residence is in France, you need the French tax number called SPI to handle your taxes. Find out how you can obtain it.


3 minute read
Updated on 9 Sep 2022

All taxpayers in France must file a tax return even if they don’t have an income currently. To do this, they must obtain a 13-letter French tax identification number (TIN). In France, the TIN number is also called simplification des procedures d’Imposition (SPI) or numéro de fiscal.

This guide will explain everything you need to know about the French tax identification number (numéro de fiscal), how to obtain it, and when to use it.

What is the French tax identification number?

The French tax ID, also known as SPI or numéro de fiscal, is a unique tax number issued by the French tax authorities to all residents and non-residents with an obligation to pay tax. The SPI number is not an identification number and is just used to make sure that taxes are calculated correctly for taxpayers.

Who is a taxpayer in France?

You're a taxpayer in France if:

  • Your primary residence is in France
  • You live in France for more than 6 months in a year
  • You’re employed in France
  • You’re self-employed in France
  • You’re a full-time student in a French institution
  • You own a business in France
  • You earn income in France, such as from rentals or investments.

Do I need the French tax ID (SPI number)?

Expat residents need to obtain the SPI number if they’re considered as taxpaying residents in France since tax declaration is mandatory. The only exception applies if you’re younger than 25 and still live with your parents.

But having an SPI number doesn’t mean you’ll need to pay tax. For instance, if you don’t earn any income, declaring taxes can qualify you for benefits such as housing benefits. In addition, by filing a tax return when you don’t have income, you’ll avoid being subject to default withholding tax rates and paying withholding tax that you don’t owe.

How to obtain the SPI number in France?

Getting the SPI number is a straightforward process. French citizens receive their SPI number when they turn 18. But as a foreigner, you receive your SPI number after you file your first tax return. It will be on your tax return form sent by the Direction générale des finances publiques.

If you want to get your tax number (SPI number) online before your first declaration, click on votre espace particulier (your space) and then on Je n’ai pas de numéro fiscal (you don’t have a tax number yet).


You can also ask for your French tax ID from the local tax offices called Centres des Impôts. For this, you must send your 1) address, 2) marital status, and 3) copy of your residence card to Center des Finances Publiques in person, by letter, or by email. Once they confirm your identity, Finances Publiques will send your letter to create your SPI number.

The SPI number for individuals is a 13-digit unique number that either starts with 0,1,2 or 3.

If you own a business in France, you’ll receive your tax number once you register your company with tax authorities. You’ll receive a 9 digit SIREN (Système d'identification du répertoire des entreprises) number to handle your taxes.

When will I use the SPI number?

You’ll need the SPI number (TIN) to carry out your tax obligations in France, such as paying your income tax. But unlike in most countries (e.g. Spain and Italy) in France, you don’t need a tax identification number to receive your social security benefits, open a bank account or get a job.

However, you'll need the SPI number for your tax assessment and to apply for benefits such as housing and child allowance.

Where do I find my French tax identification number?

You can also find your SPI (TIN) number at the top of the first page of your last tax return. Alternatively, you can find it on any tax assessment documents or income or property tax notices you receive.

  • location of your tax number, on your declaration ©

  • location of your tax number, on your notice ©

How to find a lost SPI number

If you’ve lost your SPI number, don’t worry; you can receive it by requesting it via email. All you need to do is fill in your birth date and the email address you used to register.


Please reach out to if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

Share this article
Read more about renting in France
Browse other articles about the renting experience in France