Five practical articles from France you may have missed

Property tax exemptions, car test backlogs, collapse of a major solar power company

Our round-up of important practical articles from this week

1: Renovations that can exempt you from paying property taxes

A number of eco-friendly works in your house can exempt your property from the taxe foncière obligation.

In some cases you may be exempt from paying the taxes for three years, in other cases a one year exemption is given.

Depending on the amount spent on the works exemptions can either be partial (50%) or full.

Our article overviews which renovations count towards the exemption, how to apply for it and the deadlines for doing so.

Read more:Which renovation works can exempt you from property tax in France?

2: Watermark website to help prevent identity theft

A new government website allows users to upload documents and add an official watermark to them, in an attempt to reduce cases of online identity theft.

Once uploaded and created, users have up to 10 days to download their watermarked version after which both the original and watermarked copies are deleted from the website.

It can be used for official documents such as passports and driving licences and for situations where you may be required to show proof of identity.

Read more:How to protect copies of documents from identity theft in France

3: What to consider when buying health insurance

We look at seven key points to consider when buying top-up health insurance in France, from both a fiscal and practical perspective.

Included are how to compare the plan to others that are available, how it compares to state care for which you may already be eligible, and where you can seek further advice.

There are also pointers on where financial assistance may be available.

Read more:7 points to consider when choosing top-up health insurance in France

4: Delays to roadworthiness test bookings

We report on the delays facing drivers requiring a mandatory contrôle technique (CT, or roadworthiness test) for their vehicles.

With some drivers reporting weeks-long delays, we suggest booking the test as soon as possible, as cars four years or older cannot drive without a valid CT.

Those who fail to produce a valid CT if stopped by the police could face a fine or points lost from their licence.

Delays could be worsened by a lack of mechanics offering the service, alongside the soon-to-happen mandatory CT’s for two-wheeled vehicles and licence-free cars.

Read more:Delays to book obligatory CT car checks lengthen in France

5: Solar panel company enters liquidation amidst controversy

A solar panel installation company – already dealing with an array of complaints for malpractice – has collapsed.

A consumer group believes up to 14,000 homeowners in France who used the company, Open Energie, when installing panels may be affected.

Alongside problems over poor installation and misleading practices, those who have had the panels installed may not receive expected VAT refunds, or be covered by guarantees.

The Paris public prosecutor says the company’s liquidation is unconnected to the charges levelled against them, and it could still be found guilty for malpractice.

The consumer group has urged worried consumers to contact them.

Read more:Solar panel firm collapses, up to 14,000 clients in France affected