The taxe foncière is a French local tax payable by all owners or usufructuaries of property located in France. There are exemptions linked to the property or the person who owns it. Here's what you need to know.
The land tax (taxe foncière) concerns the owners and usufructuaries/tenants of housed premises and car parks on January 1 of the year of taxation. Caravans, mobile groups of cabins and all tenants not attached to the land are exempt from this tax. On the other hand, a houseboat used at a fixed point and furnished as living place is taxable.
The first bills are sent out at the beginning of September. However, this year you are likely to receive your taxe foncière bill in October.
The “normal” deadline to pay your taxe foncière is 15 October each year. However, if your local tax office is late in sending your taxe foncière bill, the payment deadline will be extended to mid-November (the payment deadline is always indicated on your tax bill).
The tax office will ask for a 10% surcharge on the amount of your tax.
The taxe foncière can be paid by cheque made out to TRESOR PUBLIC. Your cheque must be sent to the address indicated on the bill (Centre d’Encaissement du Tresor Public…) together with the payment slip attached to the taxe foncière (on the bottom of page 2).
If you have a French bank account, you can pay by Internet (the tax will be debited from your bank account 8 days after the deadline) or by TIP. In the latter case, you must date and sign the payment slip and attach a RIB (French bank account details) if your bank account details are not already on the payment slip. You must then send everything to the address indicated on the payment slip (Centre d’Encaissement du Tresor Public…).
If you own a French property and you have never received your taxe foncière bill (in previous years), you should check with your local tax office that they have your correct address. The tax office obtains your address from the notary who sold you your French property (via the details on your title deeds).
If you have received your previous taxe foncière bills and have not received this year’s tax bill, you should check that your local tax office has your correct address. If the address on your last year’s taxe foncière bill is not your current address (if you have moved during the year), you must provide your new address to your local tax office.
If you have chosen to pay your taxe foncière by monthly installments, you will receive your tax bill in October or November.
In general, newly built properties are exempt from taxe foncière for the first 2 years. However, your local tax office may only grant you a partial taxe foncière exemption. It is very common for your local tax office to ask you to pay a fee, as the city charges a special tax for itself.
You will also be asked to pay “taxe ordures ménagères” (rubbish collect tax) even if you benefit from a 2-year exemption. However, you can reclaim this tax (and only this part) from your tenant.