Tax bill errors double in 2023 for French second homes: are refunds possible?

MPs are investigating the management of taxe d’habitation after reports of malfunctions

Many wrong tax bills are reported to have been issued
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The amount of 'wrong' amounts billed for taxe d'habitation on second homes more than doubled in 2023 compared to 2022, totalling €724 million, MPs are reported to have found.

Le Figaro, which says it has a preview of a report by two MPs into ‘malfunctions in the management of local property taxes’, says France’s tax authority the DGFiP has confirmed the figure, which is up from €312 million in 2022.

It comes after the new biens immobiliers declaration was introduced last year, which must be filled in by everyone owning a home in France. The stated aim of this was to see which properties should be paying the taxe d'habitation which is now only due on second homes, and taxes on vacant properties.

MPs Christine Pires-Beaune (Socialist) and Robin Reda (Renaissance) were set to publish their report yesterday, but have delayed it after new information was received at the last minute.

The Assemblée nationale commissioned the report in February at the request of the Socialist group. It is looking at causes and consequences of malfunctions in local property taxes calculations, including the effectiveness, or otherwise, of new tax office tools such as the biens immobiliers form.

Read more: French tax offices to send reminder letters for missing property forms

Everyone owning a home in France, including second-home owners, has to complete this declaration.

However, its introduction last year had unintended consequences, including around 16,000 children receiving bills because they had been listed by their parents among the occupants of properties.

Read more: Why children as young as two have been sent taxe d’habitation bills

Tax workers’ union Solidaires-finances publiques stated there had also been mistakes such as a homeowner receiving a taxe d’habitation bill for a balcony.

The DGFiP said last year there is always around €250,000 - €440,000 in disputed taxe d’habitation bills, adding that the main reason for incorrect billing is failure by homeowners to promptly notify a change of address. This is especially the case for younger people who move home often officials said at the time.

However, so far €724 million has been identified as wrongly billed for in 2023, compared to €312 million in 2022, Le Figaro claims. The amount could still increase, as taxpayers have until the end of 2024 to contest 2023 bills.

If confirmed, this will be an increase of some 130%.

If you have received an incorrect bill - for example taxe d’habitation billed for what was in fact your main home - and indeed should you have paid this, you need to contact your tax office, you cannot rely on the tax office realising the mistake. The simplest way is via your personal space at

2023 was the year in which taxe d’habitation was abolished completely for main homes, a measure which had been introduced gradually, starting with abolition for lower income families.

One of the authors of the MPs’ report, Mr Reda, has stated that telephone queries to the tax authorities also increased by 38% in 2023, with most relating to the biens immobilers declaration. 

This year, owners do not have to complete the biens immobilers declaration again unless something has changed in their use of a property. However new owners will need to complete it for their new property.