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What second-home owners need to know about French taxes

The Local France
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What second-home owners need to know about French taxes
Owning property in France means that you will need to get involved with the French tax system. Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP

If you have a second-home in France you will need to get involved in the French tax system - here's what you need to know about bills, declarations and deadlines.


Spring is tax season in France and even if you are neither a full-time resident nor a tax resident, if you own property here you will still need to understand the French tax system. 

For second-home owners there are three main things to be aware of; tax declarations, property tax bills and property-related income. 

Tax declarations

There are two types of tax declaration in France and you'll definitely have to do one, but probably won't have to do the other.

Income declaration - The first one is the annual déclaration des revenus (income tax declaration) which comes round every spring - this year declarations open on April 11th with the deadline to have completed in May or June, depending on your address.


Everyone who lives in France has to do this (even if they have no income in France) and second-home owners may have to complete it in certain circumstances.

The first is to do with length of stay in France - France requires the declaration for people who 'live in France', and this can apply to anyone who spends more than six out of 12 months here. This won't apply to most second-home owners, but it can become applicable to people who pay multiple short visits here (especially those who hold a short-stay visa) which can add up to more than six months in 12.

The second category is to do with income in France - if you have French income, including from renting out your property on platforms such as Airbnb for short periods, then you will need to declare it in France. In this case you fill out the déclaration des revenus for overseas residents.

You can find full details on how to find and complete the form HERE.

Property tax declaration - this second declaration is the déclaration d'occupation or property tax declaration. This is a one-off task so you don't need to do it every year, only when your circumstances change.

It was introduced as a new requirement in 2023 and must be completed by everyone who owns property in France, including those who live in another country.

If you filled it out last year you don't need to do it again unless your circumstances change, but if you either didn't do it last year for whatever reason or you have bought a property in the last 12 months, you will need to complete the declaration this summer. The exact deadline is still TBC, but last year it was July. 

This form is much more straightforward than the income tax declaration and just asks for basic details about you and your property including its size.

The crucial section (because it determines how much tax you pay) is what your property is used for - main residence, second home or rented out. If the property is mainly used by you as a second home then you list yourself as 'owner-occupier', even if you are not in full-time residence there. 

You can find full details on how to fill out the form HERE.

The 2024 French tax calendar

Impots online 

Both of these forms are usually completed online and to do this you will need to create an account on the French tax website - find our guide on how to set up the account HERE.

The property tax declaration is described as an 'online only' process - in truth there are exemptions for people who either don't have internet access or don't feel confident completing procedures online.

However as a second home owner it will be much more convenient to declare and pay online if you can, since this doesn't require you being physically present at your French property at tax time. 


Property taxes

If you own property in France you will be liable for property taxes and as a second-home owner you will pay two taxes; taxe foncière and taxe d'habitation.

Taxe foncière is the property-owners' tax and is paid by everyone who owns property in France - French or foreign, whether the property is a main residence, second-home or rented out.

Taxe d'habitation is a little different. It used to be referred to as a householders' tax and was paid by the occupant of the property (similar to council tax in the UK), however in recent years the system has changed and taxe d'habitation has been gradually phased out for almost everyone.

This means that tenants in France now pay no property tax at all, while people who own their own home pay only taxe foncière.

The only people who still pay both taxes are second-home owners (both French and foreign).

The bills arrive in the autumn, usually taxe foncière first in September or October and taxe d'habitation later in October or November.


They are calculated according to a complicated formula that takes into account the value of your property, the tax rate set locally and the national tax rate, which means that bills vary quite widely between different areas of France.

You can find the most recent breakdown of average tax bills HERE and if you think your bill is wrong, you can find how to challenge it HERE.

Extensions, alterations and swimming pools

If you are having work done on your property you may also be liable to an extra one-off tax, known as the building tax - more detail HERE.

If you do work that significantly affects the value of your property - such as building an extension or adding a swimming pool, then you need to notify authorities. Because property taxes are partly based on the value of your property, you can expect your bills to rise after major works. 

If you have a pool, it will be listed separately on your property tax declaration. 

What to know about installing a pool at your French property

Rental income

Many second-home owners rent out their property for a few weeks of the year, in order to help cover the running costs. This summer plenty of people who own property in or around Paris are considering renting it out on Airbnb during the Olympics or Paralympics, to make a bit of extra cash.

If you want to do this it is perfectly legal, but there are some things that you need to know.

The first is that, as described above, having any kind of income in France - including rental income - means that you need to complete the annual property tax declaration. 

Even if you're just renting it as a one-off during the Olympics you will need to declare it on the spring 2025 declaration - and be aware that Airbnb sends information on hosts directly to the French tax authorities.


If you're renting out your property you may also have to register it as a holiday rental with the maire - the rules here vary according to area but most mairies in tourist areas require registration. If you're using Airbnb, the platform itself has a helpful guide to registration requirements, otherwise the best thing is to go to the mairie and ask what the rules are in your area.

Some areas have extra restrictions on the number of days that second homes can be rented out each year, while the city of Paris has a total ban on renting out second homes.

READ ALSO 5 things to know about renting out your French property

You can find more information about taxes in our 2024 French Tax Guide, or our tax section here


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