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FUEL

French PM announces €100 fuel aid for motorists

French prime minister Elisabeth Borne has announced a €100 grant for motorists on low incomes, to help with the cost of filling up the car when the government's fuel rebate ends in January.

French PM announces €100 fuel aid for motorists
Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

Since the spring, the French government has been funding a fuel rebate for all drivers of between 30 cents and 10 cents per litre on petrol and diesel, which is applied automatically when people fill up.

However the rebate has been gradually decreasing – it currently stands at 10 cents per litre – and will end entirely at the end of December.

It will then be replaced by financial aid targeted only at people on low incomes who need to use their car for work – an estimated 10 million people.

READ ALSO Food, fuel and transport – which prices will rise in 2023?

Announcing the full details of this new aid on Tuesday, Borne announced that the government had reserved €1billion to fund the package.

She said: “If you drive an average of 12,000 km per year, which is the average of the French” it represents aid of 10 cents per litre, the same rate as the current rebate.

She told RTL: “It will be necessary to go to the tax office website, indicate your numéro fiscal (tax number), register the license plate of the car and fill in a déclaration sur l’honneur in order to benefit from it.”

Full details of the exact process and the opening date of the grants are yet to be revealed, although Borne said it would be available “from January”. 

The fuel aid scheme joins several other one-off payments of €100 or €200 targeted at low-income households, such as the chèque energie, designed to help the most vulnerable cope with the rising cost of living.

In most cases, these are calculated based on the previous year’s tax declaration, but people whose circumstances have changed or are new arrivals in France can visit their local CAF offices to enquire about financial assistance.

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PROPERTY

France brings in new tax declaration for property-owners

If you own property in France - either a main residence or a second home - you will now have to complete an extra tax declaration after changes to the tax system. Here's how it works.

France brings in new tax declaration for property-owners

People living in France already have to complete a yearly tax declaration, but if you own property here, you will also have to complete an extra declaration this year after changes to the tax system.

Who?

This applies to anyone who owns property in France – whether it is their main residence or a second home – including those who live in another country. If you do not own property and only rent your home, then this does not concern you.

What?

This isn’t an extra tax, it’s simply an extra piece of paperwork that has to be filled in, known as a Déclaration d’occupation, and this declaration is concerned with whether the property is your main residence or a second home.

Why?

This is because of recent changes to the property tax system. There are two types of property tax in France; taxe foncière which is paid by the property owner and taxe d’habitation which is paid by the property occupier. If you own your home home, traditionally you paid both.

However, taxe d’habitation is in the process of being scrapped for most people, and now only high-earners and second-home owners pay it. The problem is that the tax office don’t have a record of whether a property is used as a main home or a second home and therefore don’t know who to send bills to – hence the new declaration.

How?

If you live in France and already make your annual tax declaration online then this process should be fairly easy – head to impots.gouv.fr, log in and then click on Biens immobiliers (real estate) in the menu bar along the top of the website.

The site will then list the property or properties in your name, and you can fill out the déclaration d’occupation for each, stating whether it is your main residence or a second home.

If you’re not already registered on the impots.gouv site then you have two choices – register and set yourself up an account which will allow you to make the declaration online, or make the declaration on paper.

In order to register on the site you will need your numéro fiscale (tax number) which you should be able to find on previous correspondence from the tax office such as your annual tax bills.

You can find a full explanation of how to set up the online account HERE.

If you would prefer to make the declaration on paper, then the easiest option is to head to your local tax office and ask for a Déclaration d’occupation – you can find the tax office that serves your area by googling ‘Centre des finances publique‘ plus the name of your commune.

You do not need an appointment, as tax offices deal with queries on a walk-in basis, but make sure you check the opening times in advance as some offices, especially in small towns, have unusual opening hours. 

When?

The deadline to have completed the declaration is June 30th, and people who have a property registered should receive notification from the tax office. 

You will then receive your property tax bill in the autumn as usual. 

This is a one-off declaration so you won’t have to do it every year – only when your situation changes, so for example if you sell the property, buy a new one or change from it being a second-home to your main residence. 

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