Do I Need a Fiscal Representative to Sell My French Property?


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Do I Need a Fiscal Representative to Sell My French Property?

If you own a French property and are looking to sell, you may have been informed that you need to appoint a fiscal representative in order to carry out the sale. But, what exactly is a fiscal representative, which French homeowners need one, and what are the associated costs? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Fiscal Representative in France?

A fiscal representative (représentant fiscal) is a French tax agent that supports foreign companies, business owners, and individuals with financial assets in France to fulfil their tax duties in France. Fiscal representatives are legally required by any non-EU foreign business carrying out operations in France that are subject to VAT. They are also legally required for non-EU foreigners carrying out certain tax-applicable financial transactions, including the sale of a French property.

The role of the fiscal representative is to make sure that the relevant taxes are paid on behalf of the business or individual. When a French property or second home over the value of €150,000 is sold in France, the fiscal representative will ensure that the applicable rate of French capital gains tax is paid by the foreign seller.

Do I Need a Fiscal Representative to Sell My French Property?

If you are the foreign owner of French property and you are resident in a non-EU or EEA country (for example, the United States or Australia), it is a legal requirement in France to appoint a fiscal representative when selling a property in France over the value of €150,000. Since Brexit, this rule also applies to UK citizens resident in the UK or another non-EU country.

The appointment of a fiscal representative is in addition to the notaire (who is also legally required to carry out the sale of a property), and the associated fees will be charged in addition to the notaire’s fees (which are paid by the buyer) and payable by the seller. While the role of the notaire and the fiscal representative do somewhat overlap, both remain legal requirements for non-EU sellers.

Read the official guidelines here.

How Can I Avoid Using a Fiscal Representative in France?

If you are not resident in France and are selling a French property, there are only four ways to avoid using a fiscal representative:

  1. You are resident in another EU country or in a country party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), which has signed a mutual administrative assistance agreement with France (i.e. Iceland and Norway).
  2. Your property sells for less than €150,000.
  3. If your property is exempt from capital gains on both income tax and social levies owing to the duration of ownership of the property – in other words, you have owned the property for more than 30 years.
  4. If you are exempt from capital gains tax for some other reason.

If you do not meet one of the three requirements outlined above, there is no way to avoid the legal requirement to use a fiscal representative.

How Much Does a Fiscal Representative Cost?

The fees of a fiscal representative are calculated based on the sale amount and, therefore, the amount of capital gains tax payable on the property. Calculations can be complicated and difficult to predict, but you should expect to pay between 0.4% to 1% of the sale price of the property. This fee will be deducted from your capital gains.

How Do I Appoint a Fiscal Representative in France?

You are free to appoint any fiscal representative that you choose, as long as you use an accredited company. Many sellers opt to follow the advice of their notaire when choosing a fiscal representative, and the notaire is able to appoint one on your behalf.

However, as fiscal representatives are private companies (as opposed to notaires who are appointed by the state and therefore cannot compete in terms of price), it can be beneficial to seek the advice of multiple fiscal representatives before making your decision.

You should check that the company is accredited for non-resident capital gains tax (not just VAT as is the case for some companies), ask for details of what fees they charge (and don’t be afraid to negotiate, especially if you notice differences between agents), and, if applicable, ask for details of capital gains tax deductions (for example, on building works). If your situation is complicated with multiple possible deductions, you will want to find a fiscal representative with the knowledge and experience to aid you with this.

Are You Ready to Sell Your French Property?

Whether you choose to sell your French property privately or through an estate agent, need expert advice on the legal procedure or capital gains tax, or want to brush up on your knowledge of buying and selling in France — FrenchEntrée is hear to help! Our Essential Reading guides are the best place to start.

Once you are ready to sell, you might also choose to advertise your property in our French Properties for Sale database or French Property News magazine.

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  •  Brian and Enda Tanney
    2023-09-23 12:33:10
    Brian and Enda Tanney
    We sold our French property after Brexit and paid the full social charges as calculated by our fiscal representative. When the rules were changed he recommended another firm to reclaim on our behalf the excess.. . They charged 800 euros to open the claim . June 2022.. On 06/03/2023 we received a letter from the dept of finances saying our claim was successful and they were reimbursing us 9411 euros automatically to the firm who submitted the figures This notaire insists that the money is sitting in CARPA and he has no control over when they will pay it. He has also been authorised to take 10% of the money. He is quite abrupt on the odd occasion when he answers an email and tells us to stop asking him about it. He claims he has about 50 clients in the same position as us. After 8 months since we were told officially that the money was being sent to him are we right to be concerned ? Are we being scammed in some way ? We would love to have your opinion.


  •  Tessa Montoya
    2023-08-24 11:33:04
    Tessa Montoya
    My husband and I are UK residents and sold our French house in Jan '23 for less than €150k. We did not need a fiscal representative and there was no French CGT to pay, as confirmed on the form from the tax office. We would like to transfer the money back to the UK from our French account, possibly by the end of this year and I would like to know if, when we do our UK tax returns (due by 31 Jan '24), will a UK tax advisor accept this form or do we have to employ, at greater cost, the services of a French Specialist tax advisor to translate these figures?


  • Richard Walker
    2023-04-25 04:18:54
    Richard Walker
    We are currently French residents, each with a 10yr WA carte de sejour, intending to relocate back to our UK 'maison secondaire' next year. Our house is being prepared for sale now, knowing that it may take some time to sell. The asking price is likely to be e150000. Does the requirement for a fiscal representative depend upon the date that the house is put on the market or when it is actually sold? We will still be French resident for the former and probably UK resident for the latter.


    • Zoë Smith
      2023-05-05 16:41:51
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Richard, I'm afraid the need for a fiscal representative would be at the time of selling the property (i.e. signing the papers) not listing the property for sale, as they are required to deal with the sale. Whether or not there is any leeway in this situation, especially if it's a quick sale, I'm not sure - this would be a question to ask your notaire. If I was you, I would speak to your notaire in advance of putting the property on the market and ask their legal advice (if you don't have a notaire yet, your estate agent can probably advise you). Do let us know how you get on and best of luck for the sale and move, Zoe


  • Annette Varty
    2022-07-29 01:02:06
    Annette Varty
    If a property is owned by 2 people, 1uk resident and 1 French resident and house sale is 155,000 does it still apply or does the uk resident only have to get a fiscal rep if their half of the property value is over 150,000? The uk resident is only owed 77.500e from the house sale There is likely to be no capital gain


    • Zoë Smith
      2022-07-29 14:18:40
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Annette, Typically, if there is no capital gains tax liability, then a fiscal representative will not be required. However, I would suggest double-checking this with your notaire with regards to your particular circumstances. Best of luck with your house sale! Zoe


  • Ian Woodward
    2022-06-14 09:45:39
    Ian Woodward
    With regard to selling a property in France if you are British but have resided in France for 11 years do you still need to hire a Fiscal Representative? Not clear from the article.


    • Zoë Smith
      2022-06-23 22:30:43
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Ian, Fiscal representatives are not required by French or EU residents. Best regards, Zoe