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France doubles aid to help households get faster internet

State aid for households in France who do not have access to a good internet connection will double to between €300 and €600 depending on income, from next month.

France doubles aid to help households get faster internet
Photo: Philipp Katzenberger / Unsplash

The Digital Cohesion of Territories scheme has allowed eligible individuals and businesses in areas not covered by fibre internet and where the ADSL network is considered insufficient to benefit from a financial boost of up to €150 since 2019. 

But, in February, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the additional help for those left behind in the push towards high-speed internet to cover part of the cost of buying and installing wireless solutions, such as 4G or 5G connections.

The new subsidies will take effect from April 1st and will be available to qualifying households in the 28,000 areas of France where internet speeds are considered to be too slow.

By accessing the Agence nationale de la cohésion des territoires website here, householders will be able to find out the contact details of operators of wireless, satellite or closed-loop internet services are available in their département.

It is up to the householder to then contact the service providers and make the necessary arrangements. Any subsidies will be arranged at this time in consultation with the service provider.

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PROPERTY

What to expect from your 2023 French property tax bills

The annual demands for property taxes have begun arriving at households across France - and many people will notice quite a difference to last year's bill.

What to expect from your 2023 French property tax bills

Every year in September and October the French tax office sends out bills to households across France relating to property taxes – these are separate to income tax bills, which arrive over the summer.

The autumn bills are usually made up of three parts; taxe foncière, taxe d’habitation and the redevance audiovisuelle.

However, system changes to all three parts mean that for some people bills will be be much lower than last year, while others will have nothing at all to pay.

Here’s what changes;

Redevance audiovisuelle – this was the TV licence and was charged at €138 per household, with some exceptions for pensioners or people who had no TV.

This year, it has been scrapped for everyone (including second-home owners) so most people’s bills are €138 less than last year.

Taxe d’habitation – this is the householder’s tax, paid by the inhabitant of the property – whether you rent it or own it. This is gradually being phased out, a process that started in 2019. It has been done based on income, with those on lower incomes having the charge scrapped first until it is gradually scrapped for everyone – with the exception of very high earners and second home owners.

So depending on your income level, you may have already had the tax phased out, or it may be phased out for you this year, or you may be paying a reduced rate this year.

These two changes are part of a tax giveaway from president Emmanuel Macron, and at the bottom of your tax bill you will find a note explaining how the charges have changed this year, and what you would have paid without the reductions.

It will look something like this;

Taxe foncière – this is the property owners’ tax and is paid on any property that you own – if you own the home you live in you may need to pay both taxe d’habitation and taxe foncière and if you are a second-home owner you will also pay both.

In contrast to the other two taxes, however, this one has been going up in many areas.

In fact, it’s connected to the taxe d’habitation cut – local authorities used to benefit from taxe d’habitation, so the phasing out has left many of them short of money. In some areas, they have reacted by raising taxe foncière.

This tax is calculated based partly on the size and value of the property you own (which is why if you do any major renovations or add a swimming pool you need to tell the tax office) and partly on the tax level decided by your local authority. 

This means that the actual rate varies quite widely between different parts of France, but in some areas it has gone up by 20 percent.

You can find more about how the tax is calculated, and how to challenge your bill if you think it is excessive, HERE.

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