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Viewing posts categorised under: Taxe Foncière

Taxe Foncière – Do you qualify for exemption?

By Katriona Murray-Platon - Topics: France, tax tips, Taxe Foncière
This article is published on: 8th October 2020

08.10.20

Although it hasn’t felt like it, because we have had such gloriously warm and sunny September, autumn is officially here! October is a special month in my household because it’s my son’s birthday and also Halloween which my very French husband has officially and fully adopted as his favourite annual event (the children rather like it too)! However I feel that two topics that must be covered this month are taxe foncière which needs to be paid by 15th October and of course banks.

Taxe foncière is a tax paid by property owners on the 1st January of each tax year. Note that it is paid by the owner not the occupant and applies to both buildings (houses or apartments) and land (agricultural or constructible).

If you sell your property or land, the tax liability for that year is apportioned to each party, by the notary, according to the timing of the sale.

You may qualify for an exemption if:

  • the property is a new construction used as a main residence (the exemption is for 2 years)
  • you are in receipt of disability allowance
  • you are in receipt of old age allowance
  • you are over 75 (depending on level of income)

The tax office may also allow an exemption for unoccupied property which is habitable and normally rented, provided that:

  • it is unintentionally unoccupied
  • it is unoccupied for at least 3 months
  • part or all of the building is unoccupied

However, as the tax reduction is not automatically granted, you have to apply for it and demonstrate that you qualify (with reference to the specific points above).

For more details on the taxe foncière please read the rest of my article on our website HERE.

As I’m sure you will have heard some people have received letters from their banks informing them that some services will not be continued for those resident in the EU. Not all banks are going to discontinue their services but customers of Barclaycard in particular have been told that this service will no longer be available to them.

If you find yourself in this situation or you are concerned about having a UK sterling account when you move to France and after 31st December 2020, please do get in touch. Spectrum has worked with Standard Bank for many years and they provide an excellent service to expats living in the EU.

Some key points to note are that:

  • They do not charge to receive funds into the bank
  • UK Sterling to Sterling transfers are done by BACS so there is no charge
  • Clients can set direct debit transactions up from their debit card at no charge
  • Standing orders can also be set up on the account and again there is no charge for Sterling to Sterling in the UK

As with any financial decision it is always best to get advice and recommendations from a certified, regulated financial adviser. So if you want to know more about Standard Bank please do get in touch or if you know anyone who is worried about their UK banks after Brexit, feel free to pass on my details.

Fun fact of the month:
In France a popular savings account, in addition to the very popular Livret A account is the LDD or Livret de Development Durable. This savings account actually began in 1983 and was called a CODEVI which stands for an account for industrial development, it allowed clients to put away short term savings which the bank used to lend to the French industries to ensure funding and modernisation. At the time the interest rate was 7.5%!!! In 2007 this account changed its name to become the LDD and it now only makes 0.5% interest. Since 1st October 2020 those with these accounts can request that part of their savings be used to benefit social economy and solidarity organisations.

Finally, if you haven’t seen the article that I wrote last month on the Spectrum website about Assurance Vies in France, you can find it on my page HERE.

Wishing you all a wonderful October!

Understanding the Taxe Foncière

By Katriona Murray-Platon - Topics: France, Taxe Foncière
This article is published on: 19th October 2019

19.10.19

As the last quarter of the year approaches, there is one thing that is certain and that is that taxes are due. In September the final instalment of the income tax must be paid, in October the Taxe Foncière is due and in November the Taxe d’Habitation must be paid.

Taxe Foncière is a tax paid by property owners on the 1st January of each tax year. Note that it is paid by the owner not the occupant and applies to both buildings (houses or apartments) and land (agricultural or constructible).

If you sell your property or land, the tax liability for that year is apportioned to each party, by the notary, according to the timing of the sale.

You may qualify for an exemption if:

    • the property is a new construction used as a main residence (the exemption is for 2 years)
    • you are in receipt of disability allowance
    • you are in receipt of old age allowance
    • you are over 75 (depending on level of income)

The tax office may also allow an exemption for unoccupied property which is habitable and normally rented, provided that:

    • it is unintentionally unoccupied
    • it is unoccupied for at least 3 months
    • part or all of the building is unoccupied

However, as the tax reduction is not automatically granted, you have to apply for it and demonstrate that you qualify (with reference to the specific points above).

Taxe Foncière is based on rental value according to the land registry multiplied by a rate set by the local authorities – so rates differ depending on where the property is situated and from one year to the next.

Any building on your property that is a permanent fixture could result in an increase of your Taxe Foncière. If you install a swimming pool (sunk or semi-sunk) then this could increase your Taxe Foncière. You have 90 days to declare to the tax offices that you have installed a swimming pool but you could also be exempt from paying the Taxe Foncière for the first 2 years.

The tax office sometimes makes mistakes when calculating Taxe Foncière liabilities, in which case you should contact your local office to ask for an explanation and rebate. You have until the 31st December 2019 to challenge your 2018 calculation. Additionally, the tax office sometimes doesn’t apply exemptions for which you qualify.

You can contact the tax office via your online account on the impots.gouv.fr website or by email or letter sent by recorded post.

Paying your taxe foncière monthly spreads the costs throughout the year. You have to settle in full by the middle of October, so if you do pay monthly and the amount hasn’t changed this year, you will have nothing to pay in November and December.