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Posted by FindHomeAbroad on 14/11/2016

Landlords or tenants have until 20th November to pay their council tax by the Internet (called “Taxe d’habitation” in France and paid yearly). One month after paying their land tax (Taxe fonciere), landlords and tenants have until midnight November 15 for both main homes and holiday homes. For those who have chosen to pay online, the deadline extends until November 20th. The opportunity to take stock of this tax which has generated nearly 22 billion euros (+ 5.3%) to council authorities in 2015, according to the Court of Auditors.

• Who pays the taxe d’habitation?
It is the person who lived in the property on 1 January of the current year, whether the owner or the tenant. Indeed, unlike the taxe fonciere that is paid only by the landlord, the taxe d’habitation is paid either by the landlord or the tenant. If you own a property that was unoccupied on January 1, the property tax will not be due, provided you prove it. To do this, you simply send to the tax office the letter of leave of the tenant who has just left as  well as the rental agreements.
Idem: unlike the taxe fonciere, there is no “prorata temporis” for the taxe d’habitation. In other words, one does not reduce its amount to the time spent in the property. If you move during the year, you will pay the entire property tax for your former property and nothing for the new one.

• How is it calculated?
The calculation of the taxe fonciere is based on the cadastral net rental value (after deductions) of the property (and its outbuildings (garage, garden, swimming pool up to a kilometre from the property) defined by the tax authorities. Based on this value, a tax rate determined by local authorities is applied and updated annually. And we get the value of the housing tax.
The problem: cadastral rental values are obsolete. Indeed, they were determined in the 70s by the tax administration with the help of the services of the census and have not been updated since. They, therefore, do not correspond to the current reality of the market. This is why the government has been experimenting since February 2015 in Paris and in four other departments a reform of the calculation of the housing tax. But while waiting for the reform to be implemented, to cope with the increase in their expenses and the decrease in government grants, some communities do not hesitate to increase the tax rate.

• Are there allowances?
When the property is the taxpayer’s main home, the cadastral rental value used as a tax base is subject to a mandatory 10% deduction for each of the first two children and 15% for each additional dependent, Like a grandmother or a grandfather.
However, these allowances do not apply directly to the rental value of your property, but to the average rental value of the dwellings in your municipality, which is obtained by dividing all the rental values of the municipality by the number of dwellings.

• Who is exempt?
Are exempt from the tax the guest rooms and rural lodgings, provided they are located in a zone of rural revitalization. An exemption is also granted to persons over the age of 60 and to widowers who have not been subjected to the TFR in the previous year, the disabled or the disabled.
In principle, the tax exemption is automatic. However, the first time you meet these criteria, it may not be applied. You should then contact the Public Finance Center in your home.

• In the case of a flatshare, who pays the taxe d’habitation?
Each sharer does not receive his notice of taxation: there is only one per property. In other words, the amount of the taxe d’habitation is not divided by the number of sharers living in the apartment. The notice shall be drawn up in the name of one or two sharers who are liable for the taxe d’habitation with the tax authorities. It is then up to them to be reimbursed by the other sharers.

• Are holiday homes also subject to the taxe d’habitation?
Yes from the moment the place can be occupied, in other words, if it is furnished. And this, even if it is not occupied all year round. Otherwise, the owner will not pay the taxe d’habitation. For this purpose, the latter must prove to the tax authorities that on January 1st the accommodation was not furnished.

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