France homeowners have exactly a month to complete the new obligatory online property ownership/usage form.
People who own property, both residents and non-residents, are required to make this one-off declaration by law.
Failure to do so risks a €150 fine per property but officials have told The Connexion that there will be leniency in this first year.
Business-only premises are exempt.
What is the new form used for?
The purpose of the declaration is to confirm to the tax office how the property is used (main or second home), whether it is rented out or left vacant (that is, unfurnished and unused), and who has use of it.
Officials say they want to ensure the taxe d’habitation is being correctly imposed after main homes were recently exempted.
If a couple jointly owns a property, only one partner needs to make the declaration.
Property details should be pre-filled, although this is not always the case (see later).
Ways to access the form step-by-step
In most cases, declarations should be made in your personal space on the tax website impots.gouv.fr by clicking biens immobiliers.
There is no paper form equivalent but you can declare, if necessary, by calling 0809 401 401 if in France or the tax office where the property is located if abroad.
The only requirement for a personal space on the website is to have a French tax number, numéro fiscal and to set a password.
Your numéro fiscal can be found on any previous income tax or property tax avis statements.
It is shown towards the top and does not change from year to year.
People who benefit from property tax exemptions will find the number on their avis de taxe foncière which shows the amount of tax due for rubbish removal.
You can enter or set up your space by clicking on the top right of the tax website under Votre espace particulier.
Those who have declared income to France in previous years can then enter using the numéro d’accès en-ligne shown on the main printed tax return form sent to them, plus their revenu fiscal de référence (RFR) from their last income tax statement and their numéro fiscal.
They are invited to create a password to use on future occasions.
People with accounts on partner sites such as Ameli or La Poste’s Identité Numérique can alternatively click the France Connect button for further steps, but this can only be used by people who have worked in France or been in its healthcare system.
Numéro fiscal not issued or lost
Residents without a numéro fiscal can contact their tax office with proof of identity and address. Non-residents can apply here.
If you have lost your number you can have it emailed to you. On the right-hand side of the espace particulier section you will see où trouver mon numéro fiscal?. Click this, then recevoir votre numéro fiscal par courriel to have it sent to you via email.
Alternatively, you can call your tax office and ask them to confirm it by providing personal details.
Non-residents needing help with this or setting up a space can call the non-residents’ tax service on 01 72 95 20 42 or email email@example.com
How to reset your password at impots.gouv.fr
If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it.
Click Votre espace particulier, then fill in your numéro fiscal.
On the right-hand side, click on Vous avez oublié votre mot de passe, then Vous pouvez renouveler votre mot de passe en quelques clics.
You will have to re-enter your numéro fiscal and date of birth to receive a code on your mobile phone.
Input this to receive an email link to reset your password.
Property owned through an SCI
If your property is owned through an SCI (Société Civile Immobilière) then the declaration should be done by a member of the SCI via a professional space on the same website by clicking Votre espace professionnel.
If you do not have a space yet, you will need to insert information including the SCI’s French Siren business code.
If you find that your property is not listed, and it was not purchased very recently, or if you believe details of the description are wrong, contact the centre des impôts foncier for the area where the property is situated (details can be searched online).
However, there is no need to delay signing the declaration – this year it is the ‘usage’ aspect that is most important and there will be no effect on your tax.
‘Wrong’ description may be correct
Please note, however, that the tax service has received many calls about ‘wrong’ descriptions where no mistake was made.
This is often due to it using a different calculation of ‘rooms’ from estate agents – it includes kitchens and bathrooms, for example, as well as bedrooms and living rooms.
Surface area shown in the declaration will be the ‘real’ area, which may be larger than the Loi Carrez area used by estate agents.
What ‘entry date’ to declare
Readers have also asked about the ‘entry date’ that must be validated or completed.
Owner-occupiers (main or second home) can leave the default date of January 1, 2023, or enter the real date they began living there.
Where the property is rented out, the date should be the start of the lease.
If there has been a change since January 1, such as a new tenant, the tax office needs details of who had use of the property on January 1, as well as the date of the change.