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Who has to pay 'taxe d’habitation' in France?

The 'taxe d’habitation' in France is obligatory on secondary residences but exemptions may apply to main homes

One becomes liable for this tax in France on January 1 each year, even though the payment is made around September. Pic: GLF Media / Shutterstock

Reader question: We have moved permanently into what used to be our French holiday home. We are not sure if we should be paying 'taxe d’habitation' still. Who has to pay it and what do we need to do?

The taxe d’habitation is obligatory on secondary residences but exemptions may apply to main homes.

As you have now moved permanently to your home in France, it would be wise to send a letter to the tax office stating that you have moved permanently to the house as of whatever date this occurred.

Include the information on your last avis d’impôt for this tax, listed under Vos références, including your numéro fiscal and the address of the property.

Alternatively, send them a message via the messagerie sécurisé in your personal space at, if you are set up with one.

One becomes liable for this tax on January 1 each year, even though the payment is made around September. Therefore, you may be liable to it for its use as a secondary home up to the last January 1 on which the house was a secondary home. From the January 1 that you actually use the house as a main home, the right to exemptions should apply.

The level of exemption is income-related: 100% in 2021 if income is under €27,761 for a single- person household, or €44,211 for couples. For those with higher incomes, the reductions are 30% in 2021, 65% in 2022, then exemption in 2023.

Usually, your last French tax declaration would be used to validate the income levels. If you moved in 2021, you may need to provide details of your income for the calendar year 2020 (the French tax year) so the French tax authorities can see you are entitled, despite not having submitted a tax return for 2020 income (as you were not required to do so).

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