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Building & Renovation

French Tax Break for Energy Conservation

Wednesday 15 November 2006

Now is the time to install a new wood burner in your house in France, and get a French tax break of 50% on the purchase price.

The taxman will also help with the installation of new thermostatic controls and equipment, double-glazing, solar heating, heat pumps and condensing boilers.

The amount of the tax credit varies according to type of works, subject to an upper ceiling on actual costs. A wood burner is eligible for relief at the highest rate of 50%.

In the case of a couple, the expenditure ceiling is €16,000. No means testing is carried out.

Sadly, second homeowners in France need not apply as the assistance is only available if the property is your principal home.

Moreover, even if you are a French resident, it is only available on invoiced work from registered tradesmen and only then on the cost of the material or equipment, not the labour cost itself.

So, you cannot carry out the work yourself and claim the French tax relief. Nevertheless, why look a gift horse in the mouth?

The assistance is a 'tax credit' (crédit d'impôt) because, if you are eligible to receive a greater sum than you actually pay in tax, then the taxman will send you a cheque for the balance!

Accordingly, even if you do not pay income tax in France, you can get the assistance!

In order to get the tax credit you will need to declare the work on your French income tax bill for the following year, enclosing a copy of the invoice for the work.

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