Taxes For Members

Taxe foncière: How you could pay less French property tax

The Local France
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Taxe foncière: How you could pay less French property tax
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Paying 'Taxe foncière' is a part of homeowning life in France - but, if you’ve built your dream home, made certain renovations, are older, disabled or on a low income, you may be entitled to a reduction or an exemption.


Here we explain the various routes to a tax cut…

New property

New properties, rebuilds, or additions to buildings - are exempt from taxe foncière for two years after their completion.

This exemption is total if the building is used as a home, whether it is a primary or secondary residence. It is partial if the building is used for any purpose other than housing.


You must apply for a temporary exemption at the tax office in which the new building is situated no later than 90 days after completion of the work to benefit from an exoneration the following year.

Renovation work

Home improvements - notably energy efficient home improvements - on older properties could net homeowners a three-year total or partial exemption on taxe foncière.

The property in question must have been built before January 1st, 1989. 

On top of that, the energy-efficient improvements must have cost at least €10,000 (excluding labour), if carried out in the year immediately preceding any application for a tax break; or €15,000 if carried out in the three years preceding any application.

To apply, first contact your local tax office.


Among the various tax reductions are exemptions for older people living in France – especially those on modest incomes - on primary residences (not second homes).

A €100 reduction on taxe foncière for primary residences is automatically applied for homeowners aged 65 and over.

Homeowners who are 75 and older can, from the January 1st after they turn 75, be exempt from taxe foncière if their income is below a certain level. This is based on tax declarations filed the previous year, and is usually applied automatically - you can find the full details here.

This exemption applies even if they have moved into a retirement home, provided they retain exclusive use of the residence on which the tax is applied.

Beneficiaries of the solidarity allowance (Aspa) for older people on low incomes are also exempted.


Disabled homeowners

Beneficiaries of the supplementary disability allowance (Asi) or the disabled adults allowance (AAH) are exempt from paying the tax. This is applied automatically.

Only residents of France can claim French disability benefits, so second-home owners cannot benefit from this.

Low earners

Low-income homeowners can also benefit from a reduction in taxe foncière. To be eligible, your income must not exceed €11,276, for the first part of the family quotient, increased by €3,011 for each additional share. Again, this is not applicable to second-home owners.

To apply for this reduction, click here.

Unoccupied property

Owners of empty properties intended for rental may be entitled to a reduction in taxe foncière, but there are some conditions, notably that the home must be available for long-term rental but you cannot find a tenant. It does not, therefore, apply to second-home owners who have not been able to visit.

To benefit, homeowners must apply to their local centre des Finances publiques.

Be aware, unoccupied properties may, in certain circumstances, be subject to taxes sur les logements vacants (TLV) and taxe d’habitation sur les logements vacants (THLV) - these can be quite high, especially in areas that have a housing shortage.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
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graymargaret 2022/11/19 10:30
I am 76 and my husband 74. I asked tax office this year if I could get partial exemption on foncière because of my age. I was told it was income dependant and our joint pensions put us over the limit. So to say if you are over 75 you will get automatic exemption is not correct.

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