Home tax exemption repeated for some

HOUSEHOLDS which were exempt from the local property tax taxe d’habitation last year are guaranteed to be exempt again this year.

This was voted by parliament as part of a Corrective Finance Law for 2014, which had been ap proved on going to press (subject to a final review by the Conseil Constitutionnel). The repeated exemption is also held for TV licences.

To be exonerated last year – as this year – you had to be:
- 1: Aged 60 or more or be a widow/er, and not subject to wealth tax; or be drawing Aspa (old age pension top-up) or the Allocation Supplémentaire d’Invalidité which replaces it for younger people on disability pensions; or the disability benefit Allocation aux Adultes Handicapés; or have a disability preventing you from supporting yourself through work.

- 2: Meet certain income ceilings. This year to qualify, your revenu fiscal de référence (this is shown on your income tax bill) for 2013 should not have been more than €10,664 for a single person or €16,311 for a couple (plus €2,839 per extra family quotient half part – eg. one dependent). The levels are up 4% on last year, which should in itself have maintained the exoneration for most people, however certain measures this year have raised the taxable part of incomes of some less well-off families.

As usual, people who are not able to be exempt but have fairly low incomes may nonetheless benefit from a lowering due to the plafonnement, which sets certain caps based on income.

The taxe d’habitation is calculated by the application of a local percentage rate to a theoretical rental value of your property called the valeur locative cadastrale. (Note these are being overhauled to make them better reflect the desirability of different areas in today’s market, with changes due in 2018).

This is the same for the other main local property tax, the taxe foncière whose bills also go out in the autumn.

Because of the system of local rates, amounts of tax paid vary greatly across France, for example, rates in Paris are among the lower ones, resulting in the average bill being around €450,
compared to, say, €1,100 in Bordeaux or €1,140 in Amiens.

A study by the Confédération Générale du Logement (CGL), based on 2012 data, which relied on department averages, found that the cheapest places (based on a percentage of the annual average vlc) included Lot (8.9%), Lozère (8.3%) and Haute-Saône (7.7%), while some of the steepest were in Haute-Corse (20.37%) and Seine-Saint-Denis (19.68%).

However some towns buck the trend, for example Haute-Corse’s highest rate is 61% and its lowest 8%. Some of the towns with the highest rates include Les Saintes-Maries-de-la- Mer in Bouches-du-Rhône (34.13%) or Condé-sur-l’Escaut in the Nord (45%).
Among the lowest were Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône) at 0.01% or Cuq in Haute-Garonne (1.5%).

- To fully understand local taxes in France buy our updated 2014 helpguide on the topic, priced €7.50. It is available by calling Nathalie on 06 40 61 71 97 or via www.connexionfrance.com
Printed copies are limited.

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