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How does the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) work on a French second home?

Posted by FindHomeAbroad on August 5, 2022
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Calculation of the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) on a second home
Following the reforms recently implemented by French Revenue, the the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) tends to disappear for most French households by 2023 on their main home.

However, the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) abolition reform does not apply to second homes. If you are exempt from the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) for the main residence, you are still liable for that of your second home.

As with property tax (taxe foncière), the calculation of the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) for a second home depends on the situation on 1st January of each year, the land registry rental value and the rate established by the local authorities.

But unlike the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) of the main residence, the secondary residence does not benefit from any reduction linked to the family group of the owner (child benefit, etc).

💡 Good news! If you pay the TV license fee for your main residence in France, you will not be liable for it on the council tax (taxe d’habitation) on your second home.

Secondary home owned in an SCI property company or in joint ownership: who receives the notice of housing tax?

Even when a French property is held in a co-ownership, everyone is subject to the payment of the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) on that second home, regardless of their income level.

As for the French council tax (taxe d’habitation), the distribution of that tax between the co-owners takes place pro-rata to the level of the shares. In an SCI company, it is often the manager who receives the council tax payment notice. In the event of dismemberment, it is generally the partners who have the enjoyment of the property who are liable for the council tax as they can enjoy physically the property. But again, everything is indicated in the statutes of the SCI.

Increase in the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) on second homes
Some municipalities that apply a tax on vacant housing are accustomed to increasing the property tax on second homes.

This increase, of between 5 and 60%, generally affects towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants located in areas where finding accommodation is tight, such as Lyon or Bordeaux. The goal of this increase on council tax is to encourage landlords to put their accommodation up for rent.

Cases of exemption from the increase in the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) for a second home.
When the French council tax (taxe d’habitation) of a secondary residence is increased, the owner can apply for exemption from the increase in the following cases:

His professional activity is close to his second home;
The second home is a former main home and the owner is housed in a care establishment or retirement home;
The second home is uninhabitable (due to work for example).
In one of these three situations, the request for exemption is made to the tax office on which the accommodation depends.

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