Is your Property a Maison Principale or a Second Home?

Originally posted on & updated on 24th May, 2024

The French occupancy tax (taxe d’habitation) was abolished for all main residences on 1 January 2023, but it continues to be payable on other premises, such as second homes. A new reporting system has been introduced to determine whether a property is occupied as the occupant’s main residence and, if so, whether the property should be taxed.

What is the Declaration And How Do I Make it?

Owners of residential properties in France must inform the French tax authorities (FTA) every year before July 1st about the type of occupancy of their property (main residence, secondary, rented, occupied free of charge, or vacant), the identity of the occupants, and the period of occupancy. This requirement applies to both individuals and companies, as well as to French and non-French residents.

The FTA will display the known data on the taxpayer’s tax account, including a list of the owned French properties and their characteristics: category, size, number of rooms, nature of the premises, lot number, etc.

Outbuildings, like a garage at the back of the garden, are considered separate properties and should be reported individually. This also applies to external elements of apartments, such as private parking spaces or basement cellars, whether or not they are in the same building. However, dependencies directly accessible inside the property, such as a cellar or a basement, do not need to be reported separately.

The declaration can be completed online at (votre espace particulier) or by telephone at +33 (0) 809 401 401. You will need to confirm your identity and French tax number, which can be found on the French property tax demands. This is a great option for those with trouble creating an online account.

Deadline and Penalties

The declaration must be submitted to the French Tax Authority (FTA) before the 1st of July each year. In the case of newly constructed properties, the declaration must be submitted within 90 days of completion. It’s important to note that while the legislation requires an annual submission of the declaration, it is not mandatory if there have been no changes between the 1st of July and the 30th of June of the following year. It’s crucial to adhere to these deadlines, as late or incorrect submissions may result in a penalty of EUR150 per property for French property owners.

For French Tax Advice

Our legal experts specialise in taxation, wealth tax, succession, etc… They have extensive knowledge of the French tax system. In the first instance, we recommend familiarising yourself with the process of buying a property and living in France, or contact François and his team at RWK Goodman for more details. Finally, our foreign exchange experts can assist with all your currency needs in a fast-moving and super-competitive market.

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