Last chance to claim eco-friendly cash for French home

Many better-off households are likely to lose their eligibility for the long-standing system of tax credits for eco-friendly home improvements and renovations next year – so if affected you may want to undertake work while 2019 lasts.

30 October 2019
By Connexion journalist

At present, the tax credits are not means-tested but it is expected that higher-income households will no longer benefit from next year.

Levels set where exclusion would begin are €27,706 a year for a single person and €44,124 for a couple.

The planned changes are part of 2020’s finance law, which has not yet been finalised.

Many types of installation currently attract a 30% tax credit subject to set levels and dependant on family size.

This relates to materials but not labour, apart from in the case of insulation work.

The CITE may be used for roof insulation

For example, a family of four can obtain a credit worth up to just over €5,000.

Another key change is that the tax credits – known as CITE – will be changing next year to a system of fixed grants paid out by the Anah home renovation agency immediately after work is complete.

Currently, they are claimed via the following year’s tax declaration.

The credits have existed for more than a decade and involve inserting the cost of items such as insulation or a new eco-friendly boiler on the relevant tax credits section of the income tax declaration.

This results in money off the tax bill and/or a payment from the tax office if you do not owe enough tax to benefit otherwise.

The items eligible for this vary slightly from year to year and the installation must be done by a worker with RGE environmental certification (you can check this at faire.fr). For the full 2019 list of items covered, see the Ademe agency’s website here: tinyurl.com/y6eszkon.

People with incomes above the “intermediate” level listed on the government site tinyurl.com/y4mcjw2a will not be eligible at all from 2020.

Next year, it is planned that those on “modest” or “very modest” means will be eligible for new grants for eligible work they have done. Details of these grants are to be clarified in a decree.

Meanwhile, those between “modestes” and “intermediate” top levels on the chart cited above will benefit from an extension of the CITE tax credit for the year 2020 instead.

However, the benefit will apply only to homeowners next year and no longer to those who rent or who live in someone else’s home for free.

From 2021, “intermediate” households will also be eligible for grants.

Some criteria for eligible items are also changing, for example, gas boilers will no longer qualify next year except for people on “modest” incomes who have a very high performance boiler installed.

Amounts of tax credit, where relevant, will also be different, with a greater variety of levels, depending on the item installed.

For more information on these schemes, see faire.fr, where you can also obtain free advice.

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