Housing tax: what is it?

Whether you own, rent or occupy premises free of charge, you are obliged to pay the housing tax which is calculated annually according to your situation on January 1st each year. The tax is due for your principal residence as well as for a second residence. An exemption may apply under certain conditions, mainly in case of low income. No action is needed from your part to benefit from this exemption. A tax deduction is also provided on the principal residence for taxpayers whose revenues do not exceed a certain amount.

Who is concerned?

You are taxable whether you own, rent or occupy free of charge a property on the territory of France. Even if you move during the year, you remain taxable at the address where you lived on January 1st. The tax is applied to you even if you do not occupy the accommodation or if you only make short stays there.

What types of premises are concerned?

The housing tax applies to the following premises, whether your primary or secondary residence:

  • Furnished premises designed for accommodation (individual house or apartment). The premises must be sufficiently furnished for living.

  • Housing outbuildings (private parking, garage, etc.), even if they are unfurnished and non-adjacent.

How much do I have to pay?

The housing tax is calculated according to the cadastral rental value of the property and its outbuildings. Regarding the principal residence, deductions apply to the rental value. The tax is equal to the multiplication of the amount obtained by the tax rates voted by local authorities.

Do I have to declare?

You have no declaration to make for the housing tax. During the last quarter of the year, you receive a tax notice. You can also view the tax notice in your account on www.impots.gouv.fr.

I have heard that the tax is going to be abolished. Is it true?

Autumn 2017, the President of the Republic announced that he was considering abolishing the housing tax for all French households, and therefore also for the 20% of taxpayers with the highest incomes. A total suppression was afterwards confirmed by the Prime Minister on May 9, 2018. This measure is to be completed by 2021 at the latest.

However, this decision is still subject to change pending further clarification on the generalization of the exemption. Total exemption would apply to principal residences only. Thus, the housing tax would continue to exist for secondary residences.

Do I have to pay the tax if I am a student in France?

There is no specific tax exemption for students. If you occupy a home on January 1st of the year, you are liable for the housing tax for this dwelling for the entire year, like all other taxpayers.

Students may, however, be exempt from housing tax in some cases:


University residences
Some residences are exempt from housing tax:

  • university residences managed by CROUS;

  • residences allocated to students' housing, the management of which is ensured by any organization under financial and occupancy conditions similar to those of the CROUS.

A student hosted in university residence only part of the year does not have to pay the housing tax.

 

Furnished room
If a student rents a furnished room from a person who rents or subrents part of his home, the student will not pay a housing tax. It remains established on the name of the lessor for the entire dwelling, including the room rented furnished.

 

Seasonal furnished housing
In principle, when a furnished apartment is rented seasonally part of the year, it is the owner on January 1st who is liable to the housing tax.

But article 632-1 of the Construction and Housing Code provides that the lease of a furnished apartment signed with a student may have a derogatory period of nine months, instead of one year in conventional furnished rentals . It is not a seasonal rental. Consequence: the student who occupies his rented apartment on January 1st is liable to the housing tax.