Britons to be paid back millions following EU court ruling

Britons to be paid back millions following EU court ruling

Brits who own property in France will be eligible for reimbursement of money paid out as taxes following the introduction of a “social charge” by President Francois Hollande in 2012.

The charge meant that around 200,000 non-resident Britons who sold or let second homes in France had to pay an extra 15.5 per cent tax on capital gains. The reason Président Hollande gave for introducing the charge was to “remove an unjustified tax advantage” given to non-residential owners, bringing in an estimated €250m (£178m) each year.

But a new ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has reversed this and ordered that those who have already paid the charge should be paid back, and the reimbursements could amount to millions of pounds according to The Telegraph.

The court said that the tax violates EU law, since a resident of the union should only have to contribute to the social security system of one member state. The social charge is therefore considered illegal.

French law expert Graeme Perry described the ruling as “good news for the many EU residents who have been forced to pay this charge", and advised anyone eligible to submit a claim to the French authorities.

"If you have already made a claim, you should now write to the French tax administration asking for your money back and also asking for a refund of any tax agent's fees."

The ECJ’s ruling is fantastic news for EU nationals who own a second residence in France and we welcome this change.

With the further double whammy of low interest rates and favourable exchange rates, experts say that there's never been a better time to buy your dream home in France and here’s why:

  • Home prices are at their lowest since the 2008 crisis
  • It’s the best exchange rate in recent memory
  • French mortgage rates are also at an all-time low

Whether you are looking to purchase a principal or secondary residence in France, or looking to make an investment, why not get in touch? We can help you find and purchase your dream French home.