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Rise in property wealth tax inspections on homeowners in France

Owners are advised to check if their property value exceeds the tax threshold on January 1, 2024

It is reported that tax offices are looking at whether people have accounted for property value increase Pic: Julia Kuznetsova / Shutterstock

The number of people facing tax office checks over the value of their properties is reported to have been on the rise since summer.

Tax lawyers consulted by business news magazine Capital said there had been a notable increase. 

This is possibly due to the new obligation for everyone to make an online Biens immobiliers declaration of property ownership by August 10.

It could also simply be due to tax offices going through this year’s declarations for the impôt sur la fortune immobilière (IFI) to calculate bills that went out to be payable by September 15.

Either way, the figures for recent years show a trend towards more checks related to property ownership, including IFI and stamp duty on property sales, from 67,308 in 2018 to 78,602 in 2022.

A leading tax workers’ unionist, Solidaires Finances Publiques, told Capital there had been “a will, as we came out of Covid-19, to cover all of the potential areas of tax checks”. 

Read more: Are there age related exemptions for property taxes in France?

Check property value on January 1, 2024

Le Figaro also reported last year on more tax offices looking into whether people have accounted for the property price hikes market in recent years. 

While prices are now tending to drop, if you pay IFI and have been declaring the same value for several years it would be wise to check your property’s value for the next declaration, based on its value on January 1, 2024. 

The same applies if you have not paid before but may have risen into taxable levels of property wealth. 

These are €1.3million after a deduction of 30% on the value of your main home.

Read more: Does an increase in French property prices mean more pay wealth tax?

Check can take place up to three years after tax return

Patrim, a tool that can be used to make a value estimate is accessible via your personal space on the French tax site or you can use the notaires’ property website which has a map of recent average prices in a given area.

In the case of checks, officials will make a comparison with similar properties sold in your area recently. 

Checks can take place up to the end of the third year after the one when the tax was due, eg. 2026 for 2023’s tax.

If you are fined and/or asked to pay extra tax, you can appeal, for example explaining the basis of your evaluation, including any features that might reduce its value compared to the average.

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