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Wrong details on French property form may be due to missing paperwork

A change of use or building work form may not have been filed resulting in inaccurate descriptions on the new property declaration

Property owners have 90 days after the change of use or work has been completed to file a form with tax authorities Pic: Sponner / Shutterstock

The new requirement this year for homeowners to complete a déclaration d’occupation has shed light on another important property-related tax declaration.

Tax authorities say that some inconsistencies in property descriptions and surface area shown in people’s online biens immobiliers space might stem from them having failed to complete this other paperwork when changes were made.

Declare new buildings or change of use

Called Cerfa 10517 or formulaire 6704, the current version of the form dates from 2016.

It should be filled in when extensions or swimming pools are built, or when buildings or parts of buildings are demolished. It also covers change of use, such as when a barn is converted into a garage, or a shop to a home, or vice versa. 

Property owners have 90 days after the change of use or work has been completed to file the form with tax authorities.

Read more: France wants to expand AI use to find undeclared verandas and sheds

Changes to building could affect property taxes

The information is used to assess any change in the value of the property as used to calculate local taxes, including taxe foncière and, for second homes, taxe d’habitation.

The taxes are worked out based on the theoretical rental value of a property so can increase if it is enlarged, or decrease if the size or amenities are reduced. 

Read more: Dozens of French mairies employing private firms to track tax fraud

Form is in three parts

The double-page form comes in three parts and is currently not available in an online format. 

The first part is simple enough – name, address and whether you are the owner or a tenant. 

The second comprises check boxes about the nature of the change, separated into three sections: built property, industrial property, or land with no buildings.

After you have ticked the applicable box or boxes in Part Two, you need to turn the page and fill in the corresponding sections of Part Three, which describe in more detail what has been done, including the surface area before and after changes.

Additional details, such as whether there is running water, gas, electricity and mains sewerage should also be confirmed.

The form should be sent to your tax office.

If in doubt about how to fill it in, you can find contact details for the tax office on avis d’imposition tax statements for the local property tax. Alternatively, a branch of France Services should be able to advise.

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