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Property Taxes

There are two main taxes to pay on your house which are roughly equivelant to the UKs council tax. Taxe Foncière which is a Ownership Tax and Taxe d’Habitation which is a Residence Tax

Taxe Foncière

This annual tax is chargeable to the owner of the property on the 1st January and is usually sent out in September and payable by October
It is based on an amount of rent that the property might be expected to make on the open market. The tax will normally be higher in towns than out in the countryside.

There are exemptions for disabled persons providing they have "l'allocation aux adultes handicapés (AAH)"

There is an exemption for those over 75 provided their net income
( revenu fiscal de reference ) as referenced on the tax statement is below €10,024 per annum or if living as a couple €15376

For those aged between 65 to 75 there is a reduction of €100, again subject to net income as above.

This allowance should be given automatically providing you have submitted a tax return, however, in my own case and several others I know this was not taken off and I was sent a bill for the full amount.
I visited the tax office and pointed this out, they then deducted the €100 I was entitled to. If you qualify and have not received the relevent discount you will need to go to the "Centre des Impots Fonciers" to sort it out.

Taxe d’Habitation

This tax is the responsibility of the occupier of the property on the 1st January each year. You are liable for this irrespective of the time that it is occupied.
The bill is normally sent out in October and payable by November
It is based on an amount of rent that the property might be expected to make on the open market. The tax will normally be higher in towns than out in the countryside.
If you have a TV a licence for this is also included in the Taxe d'Habitation

There are exemptions for widowers, disabled persons and
anyone over 60 ( only one person in a married couple need be over 60 )
this is subject to income levels as above in Tax Fonciere.

If it is not included with the Tax Fonciere a separate bill will be sent for rubbish collection "Taxe d’enlèvement des ordures ménagères" this is normally sent out in March.

The responsibility for this tax is by the occupier of the property on the 1st January and they have no right to reclaim it or part of it from a new owner.

Wealth Tax

It is unlikely that you will have to pay wealth tax although this applies to the total of your worldwide assets including your property(s)

Wealth Tax starts when your assets are in excess of 1,300,000 euros, however for the first five years after becoming a resident you will only be taxed on those assets within France. In addition there is a 30% allowance against your main residence but not against second homes.

Exemption for Taxe d’Habitation for over 60s

This exemption is based on your net income, the figures for 2012 based on the income from 2011 are as follows:
10,024 euros for one person
15,376 euros for a couple
There are extra allowances for additional family members

However please note that from my understanding the only evidence of proof of income that the government will accept is to submit French tax returns.
French Taxation an explanation of all French taxes by the "PUBLIC FINANCES GENERAL DIRECTORATE"to be paid by residents in English. This is in PDF format, very detailed and is 107 pages long.

Blevins Franks Tax guides
Once you have submitted tax returns you should receive notice during August whether tax is payable or not. If any tax is due this must be paid by the 15th September unless other arrangements have been made.

Income Bands (€) %
Up to 5,963 0.00
Between 5,963 and 11,896 5.50
Between 11,896 and 26,420 14.00
Between 26,420 and 70,830 30.00
In excess of 70,830 41.00
Personal Tips
All the exemptions and allowances that I have mentioned on this page should be given automatically by the tax office but quite often are not!

I was eligble for the €100 reduction in my Tax Fonciere but didn't get it until I went into the tax office and pointed it out.

I also have friends,one of which is over 75, so they qualified for total exemption from the Tax Fonciere, they actually paid it not knowing until I pointed it out to them and have now been promised a refund.

I know others who paid the full Tax D'habitation when it should have been zero.

So make sure that you know your rights and challenge demands If they are not correct
Social Tax
Update November 2012
I have received a bill for social taxes amounting to 13.5% of unearned income, from my research it appears there is no exemption from this even after the age of retirement or low income grounds.
I would however point out that providing you have supplied a S1 form from the UK government then no social charges should be made on pensions.

You do need to check that this has been done as I have heard of several people who have had demands based on their total income including their pension
so check!
Income Tax
Once you are resident in France or spend more than 183 days per year you are obliged to sumbit a French tax return and be liable for personal income tax.
I have now prepared a downloadable file giving details and notes on how to fill in the French Tax Returns.
Please click here for details