The French government has been gradually scrapping the taxe d'habitataton – the tax paid by householders – on a rolling programme.
But although most people will now not be charged in the autumn bills, the exception to this is second home owners.
The blunt warning from Ministry of Finance to second home owners states: “The reform of the housing tax does not concern second homes. Nothing changes for you, you will have to continue to pay it.”
Bills containing demands for taxe d'habitation have already been sent out, although this year the Ministry of Finance estimates that only 20 percent of people in France will be paying.
The tax is being gradually scrapped over three years, starting with the lowest earners.
By 2020 only the highest earners will continue to pay – and second home owners.
The taxe d'habitation is set by local authorities – so varies between regions – and is used to pay for local services like roads and grounds maintenance.
Also sent out at this time of year are the bills for contribution à l'audiovisuel public (CAP) or TV licence. If you own two properties in France, you only need to pay the TV licence once.
The taxe d'habitation is the tax paid by the occupier of the house. A separate tax – taxe foncière – is paid the owner of the property and this will continue as normal.
Second home owners also need to be aware that if their home is in a zone tendu – an area with a housing shortage – local authorities can apply extra charges.
You can find the complete list of zones tendu here.
The tax must be paid by November 15th in case of a payment by cheque, or November 20th if you are doing it online.