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Taxe d'habitation limits for couple

How can I find out the pension income level to make you exempt from taxe d’habitation?

HOW I can find out the pension income level to make you exempt from taxe d’habitation? My husband and I are over 60 and have been living in France for two and half years. My husband does not receive an old age pension, as he is not yet 65, but he does have two private pensions and I receive an old age pension pension from the UK and a small private pension. M.M.

THE TAXE d’habitation rebate or exemption is available only if, first, you are not liable to wealth tax (impôt de solidarité sur la fortune: ISF) and, secondly, are over the age of 60. There is either a total exoneration if your income is below a certain level and then there is also a cap in the amount of the tax that you can be made liable to.

The calculation is a little drawn out, but is essentially very simple. There are four parts to it:

1. The definition of your income, on which the rebate will be based, the revenu fiscal de référence.

2. The threshold that will confirm your right to the cap or exoneration.

3. The abatement that is then applied against your revenu fiscal de référence to reduce the sum against which the cap will eventually apply

4. The cap itself.

So, 1. This is revenu fiscal de référence of the previous year, the figure stated on your last tax return.

2. The threshold for 2010 was:
1 part = €23,224
1.5 parts = €28,650
2 parts = €32,920

As you are married, you have one part each, so two parts in total (for a full explanation of parts see our Income Tax helpguide) so the €32,920 threshold applies. Your income must be under this to qualify.

3. An abatement is then applied against your revenu fiscal de référence. For households with two parts, like yours, this was €7,950 for 2010. You will need to do this calculation yourselves, but as an example, if your revenu fiscal de référence was €15,000, after this abatement of €7,950 you have €7,050 remaining, to which the cap will then apply. If your revenu fiscal de référence is less than the abatement, you are entitled to a total exemption of the tax.

4. The cap is applied at the rate of 3.44 per cent. So your tax will be restricted to 3.44 per cent of the income after the abatement that we found in step 3. In this example this is €7,050. So 3.44 per cent x €7,050 = €243. So you should pay no more than this final sum for taxe d’habitation.

However, when the 2011 abatement figures are eventually produced, you will probably find that the cap may be higher. If you do wish to make a claim, the best first port of call would be your mairie.

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