Do I have council tax or rates to pay on my French property?

Written by: Graham Gilbert Date: 27 November 2006

Property owners in France have two types of annual tax to pay:

Taxe Foncière: this is a land tax and and is always paid by whoever owns the property on January 1st of any given fiscal year. The figure is based on the rental value of the property and the rate of tax is determined annually by the authority. This tax is actually comprised of the Tax foncière bâtie i.e. on the building and the Tax foncière non- bâtie i.e. on the land. Owners of new properties are exempt for the first two years.

Taxe d’habitation (local rates): this is a dwelling or occupancy tax covering services and maintenance provided by the local council. This is paid by whoever occupies the property on January 1st – whether owner or tenant.

The amount of these taxes does vary according to the commune and the size and quality of the building. The estate agent who holds the instruction to sell the property will know the amounts concerned and is duty bound to inform you.

It is possible to pay Taxe Foncière and Taxe d’habitation in monthy instalments by prélèvement (direct debit) which you can set up from your French bank account. The local tax office (l’Hotel des Impots) will provide you with an application form.

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