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France raises taxes on large garden sheds

Taxes for new, large garden sheds and other outhouse buildings belonging to private properties in France have risen in 2020, it has been confirmed.

The law states that taxe d’aménagement must be paid on any new, exterior buildings with a square metre floor surface of more than 5m². It applies to constructions that require planning permission or a prior declaration of work.

The amount of tax is also dependent on the square metre size, the surface, and the construction type.

This is a one-off tax for new buildings. Residents with existing buildings and sheds do not have to pay again.

To calculate the tax owed there is a 'base' fixed by the government, which has risen this year. To arrive at the tax bill this base is multiplied by the number of square metres of surface area, then a percentage rate (set by the commune, usually at around 1-5%) is applied to the figure obtained.

The 'bases' for the period January 1 to December 31, 2020 have been confirmed. They will rise to €860 for communes in the Ile-de-France region (up from €854 last year), and €760 everywhere else (up from €753 last year).

To help homeowners work out how much they will have to pay the government has created a series of documents (in French) - including an Excel calculator - to simulate the amount owed.

A bill for the tax is sent out within six months of receiving planning permission and it is payable in two instalments if it should come to more than €1,500.

Some local authorities can decide to exempt garden sheds with a floor area of less than 20m² (therefore subject to prior declaration, not full planning permission) from the tax.

Exemptions may also apply to dovecotes and pigeon houses. There are specific rules for swimming pools.

The “taxe d’aménagement” is intended to help finance public services and areas, including natural spaces. It is collected by the local and departmental authorities, rather than the wider State.

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