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TAX

Who will have to pay France’s household tax this year?

The French taxe d'habitation - the householders' tax - has recently undergone a series of changes that have seen it scrapped entirely for many people. So who still has to pay it?

Who will have to pay France's household tax this year?
Photo: AFP

There are two main types of property tax in France, taxe foncière which is paid by the building owner and taxe d'habitation which is paid by the person who lives in the building.

And it's the taxe d'habitation that has been undergoing a gradual phasing out over the last three years, leaving many people liable to pay nothing at all.

The original plan was to phase it out completely by 2023, but President Emmanuel Macron has now said that, due to the unprecedented economic situation caused by the pandemic and lockdown, some people could continue to pay it for the foreseeable future.

So who will pay the tax, which falls due in the autumn, in 2020?

READ ALSO The French tax calendar for 2020: What taxes are due and when?

Well firstly second home owners still have to pay it. And as property owners you also have to pay the taxe foncière, which in some areas has seen a sharp increase.

For people living in their primary (or only) residence, taxe d'habitation is now means tested, with only the higher earners still obliged to pay.

But the cut-off point for this is actually quite low, so it's far from only the super-rich who will be paying this.

For this year's bills, only the people who are in the top 20 percent of France's income bracket will receive a bill.

According to French national statistics body INSEE this works out as;

For a single person – an income of €27,706 or more per year

For a couple with no children or one child – an income of €44,124 or more

For a couple with more than one child – an income of €56,438 or more 

The median income level in France is €1,692 per month (or €20,300 per year) and half of the households receive less than this amount in annual income from salaries, pensions or benefits.

The 10 percent of people in the lowest income bracket have an annual income of €10,860  (€905 per month).

Member comments

  1. So how are we actually informed that we have to pay the taxe d’habitation ? Should I be watching out for a letter ?

  2. Hi, I am English & have lived in France for 18 years now, last year 2019 I sold my house in Alloue & paid my taxes Fonciere & Habitation at theat address, in 2018 I bought a house In Saint Maurice des Lions required renovations, I have also have paid both the taxes on this house, I did live in this house in January 2019 & did not movre here until September 2019 as the completion on the Sale of the Allouse was delayed due UK buyers problems. Did I have to pay both of taxes ? I am 73 years old, retired & get my pensions from the UK & the annual amount has been approx €18.000-19000 depending on the exchange rates, I complete my Income tax declaration online in France. I will I have to pay tax Habitation for 2020. Regards April

  3. I am incredibly annoyed with my local authority who have sent me no bills since I moved here in late 2016. Last year they took €91 out of my bank account without any notice as punishment for not paying the taxe foncière they said I should have paid starting August 2018. But having had no bill, no letter, no email, no phone call how am I supposed to know I am supposed to pay? Again the same has happened this year in spite of my paying something monthly for the last 10 months I’ve just had another bill telling me I have to pay by October or else. Well I don’t have €1200 going spare and in spite of my offering to pay monthly and demanding why no bill was sent I am facing brick walls as if I chose not to pay any bills I am aware of! Do I have any recourse ! I’m 72 live alone in a pension that has dropped almost €2000 a year since Brexit but haven’t stopped paying any of my bills. This lack of empathy or understanding goes against the welcome I’ve had from every other quarter here in France.

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For members

LIVING IN FRANCE

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer's here and the time is right for national celebrations, traffic jams, strikes, Paris beaches, and ... changing the rules for new boilers.

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer holidays

The holiday season in France officially begins on Thursday, July 7th, as this is the date when school’s out for the summer. The weekend immediately after the end of the school year is expected to be a busy one on the roads and the railways as families start heading off on vacation.

READ ALSO 8 things to know about driving in France this summer

Strikes

But it wouldn’t really be summer in France without a few strikes – airport employees at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports will walk out on July 1st, while SNCF rail staff will strike on July 6th. Meanwhile Ryanair employees at Paris, Marseille and Toulouse airports will strike on yet-to-be-confirmed dates in July.

READ ALSO How strikes and staff shortages will affect summer in France

Parliamentary fireworks?

Prime minister Elisabeth Borne will present the government’s new programme in parliament on July 5th – this is expected to be a tricky day for the Macron government, not only does it not have the parliamentary majority that it needs to pass legislation like the new package of financial aid to help householders deal with the cost-of-living crisis, but opposition parties have indicated that they will table a motion of no confidence against Borne.

Parliament usually breaks for the summer at the end of July, but a special extended session to allow legislation to be passed means that MPs won’t get to go on holiday until at least August 9th. 

Fête nationale

July 14th is a public holiday in France, commemorating the storming of the Bastille which was the symbolic start of the French Revolution. As usual, towns and cities will host parades and fireworks – with the biggest military parade taking place on the Champs-Elysées in Paris – and many stores will remain closed.

As the national holiday falls on a Thursday this year, many French workers will take the opportunity to faire le pont.

Festival season really kicks in

You know summer’s here when France gets festival fever, with events in towns and cities across the country. You can find our pick of the summer celebrations here.

Paris Plages

The capital’s popular urban beaches return on July 9th on the banks of the Seine and beside the Bassin de la Villette in northern Paris, bringing taste of the seaside to the capital with swimming spots, desk chairs, beach games and entertainment.  

Summer sales end 

Summer sales across most of the country end on July 19th – unless you live in Alpes-Maritimes, when they run from July 6th to August 2nd, or the island of Corsica (July 13th to August 9th).

Tour de France

The Tour de France cycle race sets off on July 1st from Copenhagen and finishes up on the Champs-Elysée in Paris on July 24th.

New boilers

From July 1st, 2022, new equipment installed for heating or hot water in residential or professional buildings, must comply with a greenhouse gas emissions ceiling of 300 gCO2eq/KWh PCI. 

That’s a technical way of saying oil or coal-fired boilers can no longer be installed. Nor can any other type of boiler that exceeds the ceiling.

As per a decree published in the Journal Officiel in January, existing appliances can continue to be used, maintained and repaired, but financial aid of up to €11,000 is planned to encourage their replacement. 

Bike helmets

New standards for motorbike helmets come into effect from July 1st. Riders do not need to change their current helmets, but the “ECE 22.05” standard can no longer be issued – and all helmets sold must adhere to a new, more stringent “ECE 22.06” standards from July 2024

New cars

From July 6th new car models must be equipped with a black box that record driving parameters such as speed, acceleration or braking phases, wearing (or not) of a seat belt, indicator use, the force of the collision or engine speed, in case of accidents.

New cars II

From July 1st, the ecological bonus for anyone who buys an electric vehicle drops by €1,000, while rechargeable hybrids will be excluded from the aid system, “which will be reserved for electric vehicles whose CO2 emission rate is less than or equal to 20g/km”.

What’s in a name?

Historically, the French have been quite restrictive on the use of family names – remember the concern over the use of birth names on Covid vaccine documents? – but it becomes easier for an adult to choose to bear the name of his mother, his father, or both by a simple declaration to the civil status. All you have to do is declare your choice by form at the town hall of your home or place of birth.

Eco loans

In concert with the new boiler rules, a zero-interest loan of up to €30,000 to finance energy-saving renovations can be combined with MaPrimeRénov’, a subsidy for financing the same work, under certain conditions, from July 1st.

Rent rules

Non-professional private landlords advertising properties for rent must, from July 1st, include specific information about the property on the ad, including the size of the property in square metres, the area of town in which the property is in, the monthly rent and any supplements, whether the property is in a rent-control area, and the security deposit required. Further information, including the full list of requirements for any ad, is available here.

Perfume ban

More perfumes are to be added to a banned list for products used by children, such as soap-making kits, cosmetic sets, shampoos, or sweet-making games, or toys that have an aroma.

Atranol, chloroatranol (extracts of oak moss containing tannins), and methyl carbonate heptin, which smells like violets, will be banned from July 5th, because of their possible allergenic effects.

Furthermore, 71 new allergenic fragrances – including camphor, menthol, vanilin, eucalyptus spp. leaf oil, rose flower oil, lavendula officinalis, turpentine – will be added to the list of ingredients that must be clearly indicated on a toy or on an attached label.

Ticket resto limits

The increased ticket resto limit ended on June 30th, so from July 1st employees who receive the restaurant vouchers will once again be limited to spending €19 per day in restaurants, cafés and bars. The limit was increased to €38 during the pandemic, when workers were working from home.

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