Local taxes on second homes

Reader's query on local taxes on second homes.

We have owned our house in France, which is a second home, since 2011. I have read should have notified the tax office it is a second home for purposes of the local taxes. We were not aware this made a difference. Does it mean that we have paid too much tax? D.L

No, but it does mean if they consider it to be your primary residence the tax office will be expecting an annual income tax declaration and, not having had one, will at some point probably ask for one.

In fact in certain urban areas with housing pressures, a second home is charged up to 20% more in taxe d’habitation, and reductions and exemptions that may apply to the local property taxes due to factors like age, disability, income etc.. mostly do not apply to second homes. The tax office therefore needs to know if it is your main residence or not. In practice the notaire usually notifies them but, as they sometimes fail to, it is best to do it anyway.

Reader's query answered by Hugh MacDonald

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