If you own a property in France you will have recently received a taxe foncière bill which has to be paid by October 15. If you have previously registered to pay online, the deadline is October 20.
Town, departmental and regional budgets are partly financed by this tax, which is paid by homeowners or life tenants. It relates to any property that you own, whether or not you occupy it and regardless of whether it is a main or second home. It is calculated on the value of both “built” and “non-built” property (i.e.land) - “built” relates to buildings fixed to the floor and, therefore, mobile homes are usually exempt from this.
The tax also applies to buildings used for business, apart from agricultural ones. The tax relates to ownership on the previous January 1 and the value of the property at that time. Even if you sold just after that date, you still have to pay the tax for the year. It is levied, at a rate fixed by the commune, on 50% the value of the property if it was rented out. You should tell the mairie about extensions and renovations affecting the value of the house.
There are a few categories of people who are exempt. They include people aged over 75 on January 1, 2007, as long as they live alone, with their spouses, or with others whose income does not exceed a set threshold. Your own income must also not exceed the threshold, which is the “revenu fiscal de référence” (taxable income) as indicated in your last “avis d’impôts sur le revenu.” This year the threshold is €9,437 for one person, and €14,477 for a couple.
The same exemption and conditions apply to people who qualify for disability benefit. You may also qualify for exemption if you are over 75 and the property is a second home. Reductions are also available - if you were over 65 but less than 75-years-old on the qualifying date, you may be able to benefit from a €100 discount on your main residence’s tax under the same conditions as for the conditional exemptions mentioned above.
Discounts also apply if your property is empty when it is normally meant to be rented or you own a professional building but cannot use of it. You have to provide proof of these and the situations have to have existed for at least three months. Temporary exemptions from the tax, typically of two years but in some cases substantially more, are available for new-build or re-built homes.
The period of the exemption depends on complex criteria and ranges from two years to 30 years. You have to apply at your tax office within 90 days of the work. There are also exemptions relating to land where you have carried our significant tree planting.