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New French property tax declaration – your questions answered

This year the French tax office has announced that property-owners have to complete an extra tax declaration. From registering on the website to the rules for second-home owners, we answer your questions on this.

New French property tax declaration - your questions answered

In 2023 there is an additional requirement for anyone who owns a home in France – they must fill in a one-off Déclaration d’occupation, stating whether their property is their main residence or a second home.

The deadline for this to be completed is June 30th.

The reason for this is changes to the tax system that are gradually phasing out taxe d’habitation for all but the highest earners – with the exception of second homes.

You can find a full explanation of how to file the declaration HERE.

This is separate to the annual income tax declaration that must be completed by everyone who lives in France – full details on that HERE.

Many of our readers have contacted us with questions about this new requirement, so we’ve answered some of the most frequently-asked here;

Do I still have to do this even though I don’t live in France?

A fairly sizeable number of people own property in France (usually holiday homes) but live elsewhere, such as the UK or the US. If you don’t live in France or have income in France you probably won’t have to do the annual income tax declaration, but the Déclaration d’occupation is different.

It concerns anyone who owns property in France, including second-home owners who live in another country.

Do I have to do this even though I pay all my taxes in another country?

If you own property in France you probably do, in fact, pay tax here – property taxes. Bills go out every autumn for the taxe foncière (the property owners’ tax) and taxe d’habitation (the householders tax) – and second-home owners would usually pay both. You may also receive a bill from your commune for waste-collection services, although the annual TV licence bill (which used to be sent out at the same time as the property tax bill) has been scrapped this year.

If you own property in France and have never paid property taxes, it might be worth a trip to the local tax office to check that you are registered correctly, as almost all property owners are liable for property taxes.

Do I have to do this every year now?

No, this is a one off. You complete the declaration this year (before June 30th) and then you don’t have to do it again until your situation changes – eg a second home becomes your main residence.

Why do we have to do this?

It’s because of changes to the tax rules. Taxe d’habitation – the occupier’s tax – used to be paid by virtually everyone, but is now gradually being phased out for all but high earners. The exception to this is second homes, so the tax office needs to know whether your property is used as your main residence or a second home so that they know whether to send you a bill in autumn.

Does this mean more taxes?

No, the declaration is purely for information – if your property is a second home you will continue to get your annual taxe d’habitation bill as normal, if it is a main residence you may receive no bill or a reduced bill, depending on your income.

What about commercial property?

If you own commercial property such as a workshop, bar or retail premises, then this does not affect you, the tax declaration is in relation to homes.

It’s all about clearing up the property status for taxe d’habitation, and you don’t pay this type of tax if it is a commercial premises.

What about gîtes, holiday homes or Airbnb properties?

It’s really all down to what you use the property for – if you run it entirely as a business it should be registered as a business.

If the property is your home and you occasionally rent it out on Airbnb (say, when you’re on holiday) then it still counts as a home and you will need to complete the déclaration d’occupation. Be aware that certain areas, including Paris, limit how many days per year you can rent out a property on Airbnb without registering it as a business.

Some people keep properties mostly for their own use as second homes but sometimes rent them out for extra money – be aware that if you do this, you may need to register as a business and declare any income received – full details here.

I don’t have a tax number/am not registered on the French tax site

If you don’t already have an online account on the French tax website you will need to create one in order to complete the declaration – here’s how to do this.

I have my numéro fiscale, but when I try to register on the Impots site it tells me that my ID needs to be verified

Several readers have informed us that this happened, while others said that they managed to register with no problems.

There is a method of verifying ID online – details here – or you can visit your local tax office in person – details here.

If your numéro fiscale is not recognised, which happens in a minority of cases, you may need to either call or visit the tax office – full details here.

Do I have to do the declaration online?

The tax office says that this is an online-only procedure.

However, several readers who visited their local tax offices for help told us that tax office employees either helped them with the form or gave them a paper version.

Tax office employees are generally happy to help if you’re stuck with a process – although some offices in smaller towns do not deal with property tax queries. They will, however, be able to tell you which office will help you.

I own my property through an SCI, is there a different process?

Several property owners who bought through an SCI (a non-trading real estate company that functions in a similar way to a trust) have reported finding no property registered to them when they log on to their account on the tax website.

This is because an SCI is counted as a business, so the declaration must be done in the ‘professional’ section of the site – find full details on how to do this HERE.

What if my property details are wrong?

Once you have managed to create the online account, head to the Mes Bien Immobiliers tab at the top, and you should find a list of all properties registered in your name, with details including the size and type of the property.

If you find that these details are incorrect it won’t affect the declaration, you can still fill that in, but if the details are wildly different it would be a good idea to visit your local tax office and get them corrected so that everything is in order.

Why is my pool listed separately on the website?

It is normal that each building is listed separately – eg if your home has outbuildings – while swimming pools are also listed separately. You only need to complete one declaration if you only have one property.

What if I have only just bought the property?

French property taxes are based on who owned/occupied the property on January 1st of the tax year. If you bought your French property after January 1st this year, you will not need to complete the declaration this summer.

You will, however, have to do a declaration next summer, and you will receive your first set of property tax bills in autumn 2024.

If you sold your property after January 1st 2023, you remain liable for property taxes this year – unless you specifically mentioned this in the same contract. 

Can I just ignore it, or tell them my second home is a main residence?

Ignoring or lying to the tax office is generally quite a bad idea whatever country you’re in – they can get quite cross. Failure to complete the declaration in time, or giving false information on the declaration, will net you a €150 fine per property. 

This sounds like a massive pain

Welcome to France – home of bureaucracy! Paperwork is a fact of life in France and that’s probably unlikely to change soon. If you’re already registered in the impots.gouv site then this is one of the more painless admin tasks – a couple of clicks, fill out the form and file it online and you’re done.  

If you’re not registered on the site – here’s how to go about registering

If you have questions on the property tax declaration, you can email us on [email protected] and we will do our best to answer them.

You can also call the tax hotline on  0 809 401 401, visit your local tax office (search Centre des finances publiques plus the name of your commune to find your local office) or select the ‘Contact et RDV’ section on the tax website.

Member comments

  1. Filled in the form and it’s frankly pretty painless. What surprised me a bit was seeing that our swimming pool was somehow listed as a property against my name. No, I don’t live in that pool, Mr Taxman, though I know some fine frogs who would gladly do so if I didn’t fish them out all the time.

  2. I own a ‘maison secondaire’ through an SCI, and had a ‘numero fiscale’ recorded on my Taxe Foncieres and Taxe d’Habitation. I followed The Local’s very helpful suggestions in attempting to get into the ‘Impots’ website, all of which failed, with the website ultimately instructing me that I needed to visit my local Tax Office to obtain ‘on-line’ permission.
    We were at the house in February so I dropped into the local Tax Office, armed with my most recent Taxe Foncieres/d’Habitation documents. Without any wait, I was shown into the temporary cubicle housing the visiting Tax-man who simply took my ‘numero fiscale’ details, brought up my property records on his screen and marked each of the property elements ‘Secondaire’.
    Job done ……… no physical ‘déclaration d’occupation’ ……….. and fingers firmly crossed for the foreseeable!!!

  3. Excellent article. Thank you. Wish I had had this when tried to register yesterday. Anyway, much of the information can be accessed in English, my French is reasonable but this makes it easier. At the end I managed to find the application for a personal space which I filled in, it automatically turned it into an email. I added a copy of my passport and pressed send. Unbelievably, I received an answer today so now just to go on and complete the registration. Thanks again.

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The rules for installing air conditioning in your French home

Air conditioning does not come as standard in French homes - just five percent of private dwellings have AC - so if you want it this summer, you may need to install it yourself. However, as well as being expensive, this can be a complicated process.

The rules for installing air conditioning in your French home

The first thing to look at is property ownership, and as you would expect this is a lot simpler if you own your own home, in a single building.

Single-family home owners

If you own your own house you can install air-conditioning, although depending on the works that you need to do you may need planning permission from the mairie, and if you live in a historic or protected zone you may not be able to make any alterations to the exterior of your building.

This means you will likely need to submit a ‘déclaration préalable‘ (found HERE), and you can count on processing times being at least a few weeks.

READ MORE: How to get planning permission for your French property

It’s also quite a costly undertaking.

An air conditioner itself ranges from €250 to €12,000, depending on its capabilities. You will also need to consider installation costs as well as annual maintenance fees, plus added energy expenses.

Communal buildings

If you live in an apartment or a shared building which has a syndicat (similar to a homeowner’s association in the US) you will almost certainly need to get permission from the syndic to install air-conditioning – even if you own your apartment.

If you intend to do any work that affects the exterior of the building you will likely also need planning permission. 

READ MORE: PROPERTY: What you need to know about ‘copropriété’ fees in France


If you rent your home, you will need permission from the landlord, who in turn may need permission from the building syndic if it is a shared building. The landlord is also responsible for getting the relevant planning permission.

Who bears the costs depends on the relationship you have with your landlord, if you are a great tenant and have a good relationship your landlord may agree to pay to get it installed, but this is far from being a standard feature of French homes so don’t expect the landlord to pay.

Your landlord may agree if you offer to pay the costs yourself, but they are under no obligation to do so, and it’s the landlord that is responsible for sorting out things like planning permission and (if applicable) agreement from the syndic


If you either can’t afford air-conditioning or your landlord isn’t keen on installing it (or you’re worried about the environmental impact – not only does AC guzzle energy, it also contributes to the ‘heat sink’ effect that can make cities up to 10C hotter than the surrounding area) there are some alternatives.

You could consider getting a heat pump – expensive to install but very eco-friendly, these will keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Because of their very low energy usage, they will also eventually end up saving you money on annual heating/cooling bills.

READ ALSO Everything you need to know about installing a heat pump in France

The alternative to a full air-conditioning system is a free-standing AC unit, which has a hose like a clothes dryer that hangs out of the window. These are less effective than full AC systems but nonetheless provide some cooling.

You won’t need planning permission as you’re not making any structural alterations, but if you live in a building with a syndic you may still need their permission to install one, depending on the rules of your building (some syndics are very strict and even forbid things like hanging clothes out to dry or storing items on your balcony).

The other alternative is an electric fan – either a desk fan or a standing fan – which don’t require any kind of installation or permission. These are on sale in almost all electrical retailers and many large supermarkets (although they often sell out in the first days of a heatwave).

READ MORE: 9 tips to keep your French home cool without air conditioning

There are also lots of ways of keeping your home cool without AC, including using shutters or curtains to block out the sun.