For members


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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France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier