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LATEST: France set to reopen borders to American tourists from June 9th

French president Emmanuel Macron has laid out full details of France's reopening plan, including the relaxing of border restrictions for visitors from outside the EU.

LATEST: France set to reopen borders to American tourists from June 9th
Photo: Ian Langsdon/AFP

Macron on Thursday set out the detailed timetable for reopening the country, including reopening bars and cafés and lifting the curfew.

And there was one date particularly important to Americans, who have largely been barred from France since March 2020. France had already eased the rules of entry for visitors from the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

The second stage of the reopening on Wednesday, June 9th includes the reopening of France’s borders to all non-EU visitors for all types of travel – including family visits, tourism and visits from second-home owners.

However, there are two important caveats:

Firstly, phase two only happens if Covid numbers are still under control after phase 1 of the reopening, which begins on May 3rd.

Secondly, all travel will be allowed only with a pass sanitaire, the president detailed.

This is a health passport, the same as France will also be introducing on June 9th to access things like concerts and large events.

The full details of what the pass sanitaire will involve have not yet been published, but a prototype that France is currently testing has options for travellers to either upload a vaccine certificate or a recent negative Covid test.

In March the French government announced it was lifting the requirement that meant only those people with “essential reasons” to travel to the UK were permitted to make the trip. Restrictions were also eased for travel to or from six other countries including Australia and New Zealand.

Anyone travelling in to France currently needs to present a negative PCR Covid test taken within the previous 72 hours and fill in a declaration stating that they have no Covid symptoms.

There is no compulsory quarantine for arrivals in France from the US, UK, Australia or New Zealand, but people coming from a non-EU country are asked to self-isolate for 7 days on arrival. This can be done at an address of their choice.

Travellers from India and Brazil however face 10-day compulsory quarantine on arrival in France and could be subject to steep fines if they flout the rules.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about travel rules between France and UK

Member comments

  1. Ironic that France is welcoming vaccinated Australians after the EU went to so much trouble to stop them getting the vaccines they’d paid for.

  2. I know there is a lot to learn about all this in the days and weeks ahead. I’m an American with a second home in Provence. My husband and I are both 1 month+ past our second vaccine dose. It wasn’t clear from the article… if we were to come to France after June 9, would we still have to quarantine for seven days?

    1. Kathy, you won’t need to quarantine if you’ve been vaccinated. We also have a second home in the Luberon and are excited to return in July.

  3. This is Roger.

    We have a second home in the Dordogne which haven’t been able to visit since January 2020.

    Unfortunately, we live in South Africa.

    If my wife and I manage to obtain a full vaccination (J&J) in the next few weeks, will we be able to visit our home. Self isolation is not a problem…… I’m sure there are plenty of maintenance jobs waiting for me.

  4. This is Roger.

    We have a second home in the Dordogne which haven’t been able to visit since January 2020.

    Unfortunately, we live in South Africa.

    If my wife and I manage to obtain a full vaccination (J&J) in the next few weeks, will we be able to visit our home?
    Self-isolation is not a problem…… I’m sure there are plenty of maintenance jobs waiting for me.

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For members

PROPERTY

The post-Brexit tax rules on selling second-homes in France

British second-home owners in France who want to sell their properties are being warned of an extra layer of administration - and expense - in place since Brexit.

The post-Brexit tax rules on selling second-homes in France

Brits wishing to sell property in France may now need to appoint a représentant fiscal (tax representative) in France in order to properly declare the sale to French tax authorities. 

Who?

This law applies to people who own property in France but do not live here – mostly that would be second-home owners but it could also apply to, for example, anyone who has inherited property.

This requirement has always been the case for non-Europeans such as Americans, Canadians and Australians and now also applies to Britons since the end of the Brexit transition period. People who live in another EU or EEA country are exempt.

The law is based on residency, not nationality. So if, for example, you have your main residence in the UK but have an Irish passport, you would still be covered by this requirement.

Exemptions

As well as EU residency, there are a couple of other exemptions;

  • If you sell your property for less than €150,000
  • If you have owned the property for more than 30 years (in which case the sale is exempt from capital gains tax and social security contributions).

What is a représentant fiscal?

This is simply a representative for tax purposes in France, and the person does not need specific qualifications in law or accountancy.

The following can be appointed:

  • A company or organisation already permanently accredited by the tax authorities;
  • A bank or credit institution operating in France;
  • The buyer of your property, if they are domiciled in France for tax purposes (they do not need to be a French citizen);
  • Any other individual who is domiciled in France for tax purposes (they do not need to be a French citizen) – in this case they will need to be accredited by the local authority;
  • If the property is in Paris, the individual will need to be accredited by the Île-de-France tax authorities – département de Paris-Pôle gestion fiscale Centre-Missions foncières, 6 rue Paganini, 75020 Paris. Tel: 01 53 27 46 45

If you decide to appoint an individual rather than a company as your représentant fiscale, bear in mind that the process can be quite complicated, so it would be better to check that they are confident in dealing with the tax authorities, to ensure that you don’t end up with unfinished business with the tax office.

If you chose a company, they will naturally charge for the service. 

Whichever representative you chose, you will need to provide a dossier of documents relating to the property sale and also confirming that you are a tax resident of a country outside France (tax returns, banking information, for example).

Will you have to pay tax on the proceeds of the sale?

If your main residence is not in France, you have no other income in France and you do not complete the annual French tax declaration you will not usually have to pay tax in France on the proceeds of the sale, provided your total estate is worth less than €1.3 million.

Properties worth more than €1.3million may be liable for the impôt sur la fortune immobilière (property wealth tax).

You will of course have to declare the income from the sale in the country where you are resident and, if applicable, pay capital gains tax.

What about French property taxes?

If you have owned property in France you will have been paying the taxe foncière and taxe d’habitation.

These will cease, but bear in mind that taxe foncière is charged based on who owned the property on January 1st of the relevant tax year. So if you sold your property in February 2022, you will still get a tax bill in autumn 2022 to cover that year. Only the following year will the new owner become liable, unless the sale contract for the property included an agreement to share or split outstanding taxes.

Find more information on the Internationals section of the French tax office website HERE or pay a visit to your local tax office in France. Find your local office by searching ‘Centre des Finances publiques’ plus the name of your commune – tax offices are open to the public on a walk-in basis and the staff are usually friendly and helpful. 

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