If you own property in France, whether as a holiday home or a permanent resident, you will need to pay taxes. It’s not the most glamorous part of living abroad, but, if you know the rules, it won’t take long. Here’s the need-to-know on French property taxes.
How does the system of French property taxes work?
Although different to the UK, the system is relatively simple. There are two main taxes: the taxe foncière and taxe d’habitation. Together, these make up more or less the equivalent of our British council tax. Local municipalities use them to fund various local needs, such as collecting waste, funding street lights and street cleaning.
Here’s how they each work.
La taxe foncière
- What is it? This is the main property tax. It’s calculated based on a number of factors. These include the location of your property – some are more expensive than others – and the value of your property. The latter is calculated by the notional rental value, held in the Cadastre/Land Registry. The payment also includes your taxe d’enlèvement des ordures ménagères, or tax for waste collection.
- Who pays it? The property owner is responsible for paying, whether you occupy the property or not. You can’t pass the cost onto any tenants. If you are aged over 75 and live on your own, with your partner and/or have dependants, then you may qualify for a reduction.
- When is it paid? You pay once a year, on the 15th October. You will normally receive the indication of the amount online or on paper three weeks beforehand. If you have a bank account in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you can simply pay online.
La taxe d’habitation
- What is it? This is normally slightly less than the taxe foncière. Literally an inhabitation tax, it varies from region to region. It also includes your contribution à l’audiovisuel public, or TV licence.
- Who pays it? The person occupying the property on the 1st January pays. If you live in the property, you therefore pay. On the other hand, if you rent it out, the tenant pays. If you normally rent it out but the property is empty, then you will still pay – unless you have given an estate agent mandat over your property. In that case, the agent pays.
- When is it paid? You pay once a year, on the 15th November. You’ll get the indication of your amount due online or by paper three weeks beforehand. In exceptional cases, the amount due won’t be available by then, in which case you won’t need to pay until 15th December.
Can I also pay monthly?
You can also pay monthly, rather than in one go. However, you need to have alerted the government (via impots,gouv.fr) by the given deadline in advance. To pay the current year (2018), this was 30th June 2018. To pay upcoming years, this would be by the 15th December to start paying in January, or the 31st December to start paying in February. You’ll then pay in ten instalments. The payment happens every 15th of the month.
Buying a home in France
As you can see, owning a home in France is relatively straightforward. If you’re looking into purchasing a property, either as a permanent holiday home or a permanent property, do make sure to check our property portal to find your dream home.
If you are ready to buy in France, download the France Buying Guide
Why not split the cost and double the fun of owning a holiday in France by buying with family or friends? Read our guide to Buying Abroad with Family
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