New France property form: Why are the pre-filled details wrong?

The tax authorities have received many queries about ‘incorrect’ descriptions of homes but often no actual error has been made. We explain

You should check all information carefully when declaring
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Reader question: The information listed for our property at the tax site is wrong; what should we do?

The information listed on the biens immobiliers declaration covers a range of details, including, for example, the size of a property and the number of rooms.

Some people have highlighted discrepancies between the information given on the declaration and what they believe the actual details to be.

While in some instances there may be a genuine mistake, the details are often correct.

This is usually because the tax authorities use different measurements than estate agents to record property information.

Property owners will be more familiar with estate agent measurements.

In other instances, such as for property extensions or changes that are not present on the form, this could be due to a failure to previously declare works to the local tax authorities.

What are the main differences in information?

The most common differences relate to the number of rooms and the square metres listed.

Estate agents typically list the number of ‘rooms’ in a property only counting bedrooms and living rooms, whereas the tax authorities include spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens.

The authorities may however still exclude smaller rooms like laundry rooms, entryways, and toilets.

In the case of flats, estate agents give the surface area of a property using Loi Carrez measurements, which exclude a number of areas (for example, parts of the property where the floor-to-ceiling space is lower than 1.8m).

The measurements used by the tax authorities are for the total ‘habitable space’ of a building, excluding only door frames, windows, staircases and other very small spaces, meaning the square metres listed on the declaration may be slightly higher than on an estate agent’s listing.

What should I do if the information listed is wrong?

If you still consider that information listed about the property is incorrect, you can inform the authorities using the private message function on the website, choosing the J’ai une question sur le descriptif de mon bien immobilier option.

Tax authority chiefs have told The Connexion that the declaration should still be completed even when you believe some descriptive information about a property may be wrong and that they can check on the points you have raised in due course.

The main purpose of the declaration this summer, they said, is for how the property is used to be recorded ie if a main home, a second home, let or empty etc…

Failure to declare previous work

Tax authorities also say a potential cause of wrong information could be because previous works were not declared, either intentionally or by mistake.

Works completed on a house such as extensions, swimming pool installations, demolition or a change of use to part of the property should be declared via a Cerfa 10517 or formulaire 6704.

This form should be sent to your local tax office within 90 days of the work being carried out.

If work has not been declared, it may be the cause of conflicting information on the property form, and you should update the declaration and let the authorities know about the changes.

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