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Tax foncière deadline coming up

Bills for the homeowners’ local property tax – taxe foncière – are coming up for payment on October 15, but in most cases should not have risen steeply compared to 2018.

As usual, it is payable, apart from in the case of certain exemptions, by anyone who owned a property (or land, for the taxe foncière sur les propriétés non bâties) on January 1, 2019, whether or not they live in it.

With local elections due next year most mairies have not taken the risk of any sudden hikes according to a study by local tax information specialists Cabinet FSL.

In some towns the rates applied by the mairies have even notably dropped, such as a reduction of 5.1% by the mairie of Nice meaning that, combined with the part of the tax for the departmental council, a couple with an average property there will this year pay €1,178 rather than €1,233 last year.

In most cases where there are rises these are due to the across the board annual increase in the theoretical rental value of properties used to calculate the local taxes (valeur locative cadastrale), which this year was 2.2%. This is voted for by Parliament each year and takes into account inflation.

Meanwhile, plans to apply a thorough reform of the valeurs locatives cadastrales, which were last properly worked out based on market values in the 1970s, is now expected to apply only from 2026. In theory this should not mean across the board increases but would make the local taxes fairer by more accurately reflecting the desirability or otherwise of certain areas today.

A veritable serpent de mer (project regularly mentioned but always put off) – successive governments have talked about tackling this.

Also controversial is a plan by the government to give the part of this local tax that goes to the departmental councils to the mairies instead from 2021 (they would instead get part of the VAT revenues). Departments already only receive money from the tax for buildings, not on unbuilt land.

The dates to remember this month are as follows:

  •  Tuesday October 15 – the payment deadline for taxe foncière for those who do not pay by direct online payment by internet or smartphone or tablet application. This is also the date of the tenth and final annual payment for those who are set up to pay in regular direct debit instalments by mensualistion.
  • Sunday October 20 at midnight – the limit for payment by internet, smartphone or tablet. The money will be debited from your account on October 25.
  • Thursday October 31 – the limit for signing up for prélèvement à l’échéance for payment of your taxe d’habitation (unless you live in Guadeloupe, Martinique or Guyane in which case it is November 30). If opting for this you will be automatically debited on November 25, as opposed to this tax being payable on November 15.

Previous article: Who is exempt from taxe foncière? (subscribers/paywall)

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