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Paying impôts can help avoid paying capital gains tax

I have lived in France for four years full-time and I am now about to sell my house. However, I have been told that I will be charged capital gains tax on the sale. Surely this is not correct? Can you advise? J.P.

27 June 2018
By Hugh MacDonald

If you have submitted tax declarations to the tax office for at least two complete tax years of the four that you have been in France, then there is no tax due on the sale of your home since the sale of principal private residences is exempt from capital gains tax.

The issue here seems to be more one of being able to show that you were resident in France and that your home was here so as to be able to benefit from the exemption.

This contrasts with some people who have been here for a while but have not submitted income tax declarations. This means that the tax office does not know that the person is in France, nor that France is where they are fiscal residents, nor that they actually had a home here.

In these circumstances, the tax office would not class the property being sold as a main home and so would not apply the capital gain exemption.

Reader's query answered by Hugh MacDonald

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