1. Cancelling insurance contracts in ‘just three clicks’
From June 1, cancelling insurance contracts will be “as easy as taking them out”, says France’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire.
The government says consumers will be able to cancel a contract via an easy-to-use interface on a company’s website and can cancel the contract simply by providing basic information such as your personal details used to take out the contract, the contract number, and the date you wish the contract to end.
The interface should also be easy to find for users, either directly on the homepage or in an obvious location.
Companies who fail to comply with the new rules could face fines of up to €75,000, and individuals a fine of €15,000.
It will be available for insurance contracts both taken out online and in person with a professional company or individual.
Although only applicable for insurance companies at the beginning of the month, a number of other contract providers will be obliged to follow suit over the course of the summer.
2. Regulated gas tariff abolished
France’s fixed, regulated gas tariff will be abolished on June 30. Engie clients who have not yet signed up for a market-rate contract will be automatically transferred to a transitional passerelle (bridge) offer until they do so.
This contract will offer users an open-ended market-rate contract, allowing them the flexibility to switch to another provider.
As of November 2022, around 2.4 million households were still on the regulated contract with either Engie (accounting for 93% of these contracts) or a local distributor, requiring a change before the end of this month.
From June 1, The Commission de régulation de l’énergie and Médiateur de l’énergie will publish a monthly report allowing households who use gas to compare prices of those available.
3. Register of finance professionals to tackle scams
All banking, insurance, and finance professionals will submit their contact details to a sector-wide register that will be freely available to the public.
From June 1, workers in the sector will need to register their contact information on the Organisme pour le registre des intermédiaires en assurance (Orias).
They will have to provide information including a telephone number, an email contact, and, where possible, a link to their website.
These changes are being introduced to help limit scams where individuals pose as finance professionals to dupe ‘clients’ and will see over 70,000 individuals add their information to the register.
4. Last month to complete property declaration
Property owners in France have until June 30 to complete the mandatory Biens Immobiliers property declaration.
All owners of residential property must complete the form, including residents in France, those who own property via an SCI, non-residents who own a second home, and those who rent their property out.
The form, which can be found via the espace particulier space on the tax site (or through the espace professionel for SCI property owners) in the Gérer mes Biens Immobiliers section, has to be completed online or over the phone to the tax authorities (on 0809 401 401 if currently in France).
For most people, the form is just a simple confirmation of data on the property/ies already held by the tax authorities.
Although there is a deadline of June 30, the tax authorities have said fines for non-completion (of €150 per property) will not be levied until the beginning of 2024, due to complications around the declaration’s introduction.
They also stated that even if you spot an error in the data that you must inform the authorities of, it is better to notify them and then still submit the form, with the form being updated at a later date after the deadline.
The Connexion has an index of articles on the declaration you can find here.
5. Last chance to spread taxe foncière payments across the year
The deadline to join the monthly payment scheme for local taxes – such as property tax – is June 30.
This scheme usually allows for you to pay the tax in ten instalments throughout the year (from January to October), although the deadline for splitting payments this way has passed.
Those who sign up before the end of June, however, can spread the payments over the course of four or five months (from July to October or November 2023) instead of paying one lump sum, and then allow monthly payments of the tax from January 2024.
With property taxes rising 7.1% across the board (and a lot higher in a number of other communes), it is something many homeowners will consider for this year’s payments.
You can find the option to spread out payments monthly in the Mes contrats de paiement section of your tax space.
6. Rent cap set to end, but could be extended into 2024
The rent cap in France – which prevented property rent prices by increasing more than 3.5% over the last year – is set to end on June 30.
MPs, including Aurore Bergé, who is the leader of Macron’s Renaissance party in the French parliament, say they are looking to extend the cap further.
A vote will be held on Monday (May 29) over the extension – if passed, it will see the cap extended to the first quarter of 2024 at the same level of 3.5%.