If you own a property in France the local property rates payable comprises two different taxes, called the taxe d’habitation and the taxe foncière. You will also pay a waste collection tax.
Local authorities also charge rates on business premises, called the Contribution Economique Territoriale (CET). Even if you run the business from your from home you will still be liable for these rates, although there are certain exemptions and other concessions. Our guide to French business rates can be found at Contribution Economique Territoriale (CET).
9.3. Waste/Rubbish Collection Tax
Legal responsibility for the provision of the waste service resides with your local mairie, although rural domestic services are generally run on an inter-communal basis.
Operational responsibility for the service is often then contracted out to a private company, although some run it direct.
Those who do not have a door-to-door collection service need to take their household rubbish to one of the collection points in the commune.
For bulky items you will need to take the items to a local waste recycling centre (déchèterie).
The councils charge for the service through a tax, called the Taxe d'Enlèvement des Ordures Ménagères (TEOM), which is collected with the annual property rates bill, the taxe foncière.
However, the TEOM is a discretionary tax, and some councils simply decide to fund the service through the general budget.
The basis for the calculation of the tax is generally the same as that for the taxe foncière, that is to say the rateable value of the property.
In some cases, councils charge on the basis of the number of persons in the household, rather than the rateable value of the property, in which case the tax is called Redevance d’Enlèvement des Ordures Ménagères (REOM).
Following legislation that passed through the French parliament, charging on the basis of the size of the household, and/or the amount of waste, is likely to become more common in future.
There are very few exemptions from this tax.
Although a household might otherwise be exempt from the taxe foncière you will find that this does not also grant an exemption to the rubbish collection tax, which will continue to be payable.
Countryside dwellers in France rarely have a door-to-door refuse collection service, but they remain liable for the tax due to the availability of collection points.
Similarly, even though the property may be used on a temporary basis, such as a second home, you will still be fully liable for the tax.
If you let out the property, then you are entitled to recover the tax from the tenant, although as the owner of the property you remain directly liable.
Landlords who are unable to let out their property, despite their best intentions to do so, are also able to claim an exemption on the property, on the same basis as is accorded for an exemption to the taxe foncière.
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