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LIVING IN FRANCE

Energy bills, remote working and ‘coup’ phrases: 6 essential articles for life in France

What you can expect from your energy bills in France in 2023, how serious winter blackout warnings actually are, remote working in France and a word with multiple meanings - here are six essential articles for life in France.

Energy bills, remote working and 'coup' phrases: 6 essential articles for life in France

France’s freeze on gas prices comes to an end at the end of 2022, while the four percent cap on electricity price rises also expires – however the government has now announced the price caps for 2023.

We’ve done sole calculations and figured out what the new price rates will mean for your monthly energy bills.

EXPLAINED: What your French energy bills will look like in 2023

Now, we don’t want to put a downer on your day, but blackouts are a distant possibility in the months ahead.

RTE – the independent, electricity system operator of France – has laid out what a worst-case scenario might actually entail, and what would need to happen before we reach that point.

Revealed: The worst-case scenario for blackouts this winter in France

More possible bad news, we’re afraid. Travellers planning a trip between France and the UK in 2023 are likely to face ‘massive disruption’ caused by a combination of the EU’s new digital visa system and the UK government’s unwillingness to work in a constructive manner with French or EU leaders, a former British ambassador to France has warned.

Fears of ‘massive disruption’ of travel between France and UK in 2023

Modern technology means that many jobs can be done from anywhere in the world with only a laptop and a decent wifi connection – but what are the rules if you are working remotely in France for a company back in your home country?

Because this is a relatively recent phenomenon, it’s not always easy to find information on this – so from immigration paperwork to taxes, here’s what you need to know.

Working remotely from France: What are the rules for foreigners?

Let’s set about improving the mood. Are you looking for something to do now the nights are drawing in? Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in France – here’s our pick of the festivals and events around the country in September, October and November.

Fall festivals: What’s on around France in autumn 2022

French is a difficult language to pick up. We know. Understanding is not helped by the fact, for example, that there is one four-letter word that pops up repeatedly, in a bewildering array of different meanings. So, here’s our definitive guide to getting to grips with ‘coup’.

Love to luck – 21 different ways the French use the word ‘coup’

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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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