Tax on household waste collection is levied by your commune, and in two-thirds of cases it is a version called TEOM (taxe d’enlèvement des ordures ménagères).
It is paid with the taxe foncière local property owners’ tax and listed on the same bill.
TEOM is payable by the homeowner regardless of actual use of the collection service although, where a property is rented out, you are entitled to bill it to your tenant as part of their charges.
Where you opt for local tax payment in regular instalments, it is added to those for taxe foncière. It is payable for main and second homes.
You can apply to be exempt in limited circumstances, notably where you usually rent out a property but it has been unoccupied for at least three months for a reason out of your control.
Where there is no collection service directly from your property and the nearest collection point is more than 200m from your home, it may also be possible to be exempt and there is some leeway for case-by-case interpretation of this rule.
The TEOM is based on an official theoretical rental value for your property called the valeur locative cadastrale, multiplied by a percentage rate set by the commune (on average of about 12%) and in 2018 the average bill was €175.
Some communes do not have the TEOM but instead a Redevance d’enlèvement des ordures ménagères (REOM), payable separately from taxe foncière, by the occupant, and only if they use the collection service.
Communes may opt to factor in household size in working out the bill for REOM.
For both kinds of household waste tax (but most often for REOM), communes may also opt to include an “incentive” element, so the bill partly depends on the volume of rubbish (See also Pay-per-bag waste tax to start in France)
Where you have non-domestic waste collected, eg. from a small business, there may be a similar tax called Redevance spécial (in some cases it is payable as well as TEOM).
This question was answered by Olaf Muscat Baron who is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Accountants UK, a French expert comptable and an International tax advisor.
He is the principal accountant of Fiscaly, an accountancy firm based in the Dordogne.
See www.fiscaly.fr or call 09 81 09 00 15
Email your tax questions to firstname.lastname@example.org