With two local rates to pay in France it is well worth setting up a monthly direct debit with the tax office to spread the pain over the year.
Owners of residential property in France are liable for two annual local property taxes (or rates), called the taxe d’habitation and the taxe foncière.
These impôts locaux fund the services provided through the local commune and inter-communal bodies, whilst the latter also contributes towards the budget of the departmental councils.
The level of the taxes varies by property size, condition, amenities and location, but on average they each amount to around €1,000 per annum.
This is not an insignificant sum to pay out each year, made worse by the fact that the tax demands for both taxes are payable at the same time in late autumn/early winter.
Indeed, the autumn is a very taxing time for many households, who in September also need to regularise payment of income tax and social charges. Those with net taxable assets of over €1.3m also need to pay their wealth tax bill!
One way of easing the burden is to set up a monthly direct debit to pay the rates, which is also possible for income tax and social charges. There is no additional tax charge.
The tax demand for the taxe foncière is sent out in September, whilst the demand for the taxe d'habitation in October.
The former is payable in October and the latter in November.
The dates for second home owners are normally offset by a month from those of principal home owners, although not in all cases.
If you wish to set up a monthly standing order (prélèvement mensuel) it is well worth considering for next year.
You can do so either via the internet, or via the direct debit centre for your department.
i. Internet - Setting up an account on the government tax website is easy and useful, although you cannot do so in your first tax year in France.
To do so you will need three elements:
- Numéro fiscal - A 13 figure number that you will find near the top of tax declaration form you will receive.
- Numéro de déclarant en ligne - A 7 figure number that you will again find on the first page of your tax declaration.
- Revenu fiscal de référence - This is found on the last page of your tax notice.
You will also need your bank account details.
When you have this information go to Mon Espace and set up an account, when you will need to choose a password and provide your e mail address. Once sorted, you then go to the relevant page for payments and set it up.
ii. Direct Debit Centre - If you are having difficulties in using the internet contact your Centre Prélèvement Service.
The direct debits will be paid in 10 monthly payments each year commencing January. You will be advised of the direct debit dates, which occur on the 15th of the month.
Unless you cancel the direct debit it will apply for subsequent years.