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Property Taxes in France on the Rise

Volume XXI, Issue 35

View across Paris to the Eiffel Tower from the upper floor of the Centre Pompidou

I got my “taxe foncière” (property tax) bills this week, as did most all property owners in France, and they were considerably higher than previous years. In Paris, the increase was 44%. In Nice the increase was only 12%. Still the taxes are so low compared to the US, that one cannot complain—well under 1,000€ for a two-bedroom apartment in central Paris which is still less than one-tenth (!) of what it would be in California!

Birdseye view of Nice, France

Birdseye view of Nice

It’s now a fact. With the abolition of the “taxe d’habitation” for all households (except second homeowners) since January 1st, 2023, the only remaining domestic tax bill is the “taxe foncière.” The result of a re-evaluation by the tax authorities decided at the national level has increased the tax rates voted by certain municipalities.

A report published by the government this week stated that over 80% of city councils have decided to leave their rates unchanged for this year. The councils that impose it are the local communes and the inter-communal councils.

The results show that property taxes are on the rise in all cities with populations of over 40,000. Each year, part of the tax increase is determined by inflation. In 2023, this revaluation of cadastral rental values will reach 7.1%: its highest increase since 1986, according to the Union Nationale des Propriétaires Immobiliers (UNPI), as reported in Le Figaro.

Chart of the tax increases in France's larger cities

This is not the only factor influencing property tax rates. Municipalities can also change the tax rate applied to their residents. In 80% of large cities, the tax rate has not increased. In these communities, only the 7.1% increase will be applied. A small minority (3%) have even decided to lower their tax rates. This is the case of Compiègne (Oise), where the property tax increase is expected to be contained at around 6%.

The remaining large towns (17%), on the other hand, have opted to increase their rates, sometimes significantly. The result is an explosion in property tax in Grenoble (+33.2%), Meudon (+44.7%) and especially Paris (+62.7%).

Meanwhile, your tax bill may or may not be correct and you have the right to dispute it. You can contest your property tax online via the complaints service accessible on the tax website. This service is accessible to all taxpayers, even those who have not filed their taxes online. You must access your personal space by entering your identifiers and then accessing your email.

Screenshot of the French tax website

You must then click on « Ma demande concerne la taxe foncière » (“My request concerns property tax”) then select the year of the property tax notice that you wish to contest. You can then write your complaint online and attach supporting documents to support your request. Once the online request has been sent, it is automatically transmitted to the competent services. The taxpayer then receives an acknowledgment of receipt which can be printed online or sent by email. The applicant will then be able to follow the progress of their request via the « Suivre mes réclamations » (“Track my complaints”) online service.

Example of drop-down list of questions on the French tax website

In practice, the tax office receives challenges to property tax notices for many reasons. This may, for example, be a forgotten property tax exemption or relief, family responsibilities that have not been fully taken into account, an unjustified increase in the cadastral rental value retained by taxes, an error regarding the identity of the owner, etc.

Keep in mind that all of this is in French! To make it easier, if your French isn’t at this level, try using DEEPL Translator!

Example of drop-down list of questions on the French tax website

You can also make your property tax claim via a simple letter written on plain paper. Your letter of the dispute must include the references and a copy of the tax notice that you are contesting, the subject of your request (exemption, relief, error on the rental value, etc.) as well as all useful supporting documents. to support it.

In the event of an error concerning an exemption or relief, your complaint can be sent to the personal tax service. Before sending your letter, make sure that you meet the conditions to obtain the tax advantage you are claiming. In the event of an error in the cadastral rental value used as the tax base, the request can also be sent to the property tax center whose address appears on your tax notice.

Example of drop-down list of questions on the French tax website

Please note that you can also go directly to the tax center indicated on your property tax notice. Your oral complaint will then be materialized by the establishment of a visit sheet.

The tax office will study your file upon receipt of your request. In principle, your claim does not exempt you from paying tax. However, during the processing time of your request, you can request a stay so as not to pay the amount you are contesting.

The administration has six months to send its response. This period may possibly be extended by an additional three months. When the administration recognizes its error, the taxpayer will receive a notice of relief or restitution. Any sums paid are reimbursed and increased by default interest calculated at the legal rate. If the request is rejected, the taxpayer has two months to take action before a court. Failing this, he will have to pay the disputed property tax, the initial amount of which will be increased.

Your property tax claim must be sent within a certain time frame. The request must therefore be received before December 31st of the year following that of the collection:

Before December 31, 2024 for the property tax required in 2023;
Before December 31, 2023 for the property tax required in 2022.

Conversely, the tax services can also claim additional tax within the same deadlines if they notice an error. Taxpayers are therefore not protected from property tax regularization before the above deadlines.

If the taxpayer requests a deferral for the payment of his property tax, he must make the express request when making his claim (online or by mail). This suspension is applicable until the decision of the administration or the competent court of first instance. Please note that in the event of an unfavorable decision at the end of the procedure or withdrawal on his part, the taxpayer may be forced to pay default interest for the period during which he benefited from the suspension.

For more information and to watch this video (in French) visit this site.

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds wearing red-framed glasses, red, earrings, and a red beretAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. We host or speak at a number of events each year. To see what we’re up to next, please see our Events page on our website.


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