Taxe Foncière and Taxe d’Habitation

Jos Deuling,  Saturday, 28 March 2015

Zonnebloemen in veld Frankrijk 

If you own a home or rent a house in France, you have to pay local property taxes. Taxe Foncière is a land tax paid by the owner of the property; Taxe d'Habitation is a resident tax paid by the resident. If a tenant rents a property for a longer period he has to pay the Taxe d'Habitation. If the owner rents the house for shorter periods than he has to pay the Taxe d'Habitation.

Both taxes are applicable to both residents and non-residents. The Taxe Foncière and Taxe d'Habitation for a second home are mostly higher than the main house taxes. For the main house, you often get a discount.

Both property tax assessments are sent annually and have to be paid on a specified date. The Taxe Foncière in October, the Taxe d'Habitation in November. But this can vary from municipality to municipality. Paying to late means a fine of 10%.

You can pay by check, bank transfer or through online payment.

Taxe foncière

The Taxe Foncière is paid by the owner of the house. It consists of two parts: a tax on the property (Taxe Foncière sur les Propriétés Bâties) and a tax on land (Taxe Foncière sur les Propriétés non Bâties). The tax on land is levied at the national level. The tax on property should always be paid, regardless of whether the property is occupied or not.

When selling the property in the course of the year, the tax is offset by the notary involved in the sale.

Residents who are 75 years or older on 1 January and residents who receive an invalidity or old-age pension receive a discount.

The calculation that underlies the Taxe Foncière (which also applies to the Taxe d'Habitation), is based on the "quotient familial" (For a French- language explanation of "quotient familial" see Quotient familial : nombre de parts fiscales).

For 2014 the following limits were valid (based on income in 2013): € 10 663 for the first family quotient (for a one-person household), then € 2,839 for each half family quotient after that. A taxable person between 65 and 75 who had a taxable income on January 1, 2014, under the limit mentioned above shall be entitled to a discount of € 100 on the Taxe Foncière on his main residence (unless you share the house with anyone other than the spouse or dependents).

Exemptions apply to the land tax if the land is used for a specific purpose, such as agriculture.

New homes and renovated homes are the first two years after completion exempt from the Taxe Foncière. When used as a main residence. For a renovated house, it depends on the nature and extent of the renovation. To apply for the exemption you have to complete a special form and return it to the local tax office within 90 days after completion of the construction or renovation.

Taxe d’Habitation

The Taxe d'Habitation is determined by local and regional authorities. The proceeds of this tax are spent on municipal facilities. The tax is paid by the household that inhabits the property on January 1 regardless of whether one is owner or tenant. If the property is empty, the owner pays.

The tax is based on the notional rental value of the property multiplied by the tax rate within the municipality. The notional rental value is determined by the land register. Improvements to the property must be reported to the land register within 90 days. One can appeal against the decision of the register, but the margins are usually minuscule.

For people with low incomes and breadwinners, there are several deductions for the Taxe d'Habitation on the primary residence. Families with three children, for example, receive a discount of 35% on the average taxable value. This percentage may increase by 5% -10% for each family member but only if the municipality has included this in the scheme. Also, a family with three children can still get an additional discount of 5% -15% if their annual income is below a certain limit.

The following persons are eligible for an exemption from the Taxe d'Habitation: people older than 60 and people whose wife / husband is deceased, who inhabited the property on January 1 as a main residence, are not excited for the property tax and whose net taxable income does not exceed € 10,663 for a single household or € 16,311 for a couple.

The taxable income in 2013 is used to determine whether they qualify for the exemption in 2014.

The Taxe d'Habitation is also levied on a mobile home if it is the principal residence of the taxpayer. The tax rate is € 25 per square meter. The tax need not to be paid if the total area is less than 4 square meters.

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