France’s New 2023/2024 Tax Declaration d’Occupation for French Homeowners: Step by Step

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Essential Reading

France’s New 2023/2024 Tax Declaration d’Occupation for French Homeowners: Step by Step

In 2023, all French property owners were required to fill in a new tax declaration form – the Declaration d’Occupation – detailing the occupancy status of their properties. In 2024, new homeowners and properties with a change of status must also fill in the form, along with any property owners who haven’t already done so. Here, we take you through the process step by step and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

What is the Declaration d’Occupation, France’s new property tax form?

The Declaration d’Occupation is a new French tax declaration that must be filled in by all property owners as of 2023, declaring the occupancy status of their property/properties. It’s a one-off declaration that is mandatory for all property owners in France, including second-home owners and non-residents who are not typically required to submit a French tax return.

Why is the new declaration required? 2023 marked the first year that the Taxe d’Habitation was abolished on all primary residences. To determine who is and isn’t eligible for the tax from this point forward, French tax authorities have now made it mandatory for all homeowners to declare the occupancy status of their properties. The Taxe d’Habitation will continue to be applied to second homes and vacant properties, and this new form will ensure that such properties are correctly taxed.

This new form is included in article 1418 of the general tax code and must be filled in by all property owners for each premise, including car parks, cellars, outbuildings, etc.

Who needs to fill in the Declaration d’Occupation?

This new property tax form applies to all French homeowners, including second-home owners, landlords, and property investors. If you own any kind of property in France, regardless of whether you live in the property, use it as a second home, or rent it out, or whether or not you pay taxes in France – you must fill in this form. You must fill it out regardless of whether you are liable to pay Taxe d’Habitation or not.

Note that filling in this form does not necessarily mean that you will need to pay income tax in France or file a French tax return. 

Who doesn’t need to fill in the form? The only exceptions are owners of commercial properties and businesses, such as shops or full-time gites/holiday home businesses – i.e. properties which are not liable for the Taxe d’Habitation as they are registered as businesses.

This exception doesn’t apply if your property is a second home or holiday home that is occasionally rented out as a gite or Airbnb and is not a registered business. If in doubt, it’s best to check with your local tax office.

Who needs to fill in the form in 2024?

If you already filled in the form in 2023 and the occupancy of your property has not changed, you do not need to fill in the form again.

If you are a new property owner and have never filled in this form, you must do so in 2024. Similarly, if you own a property and didn’t, for whatever reason, fill this in last year, you must do so this year (and be aware that while authorities were understanding of the difficulties some property owners had last year, they are unlikely to be as lenient this year – and fines do apply for non compliance!).

Finally, if you have previously filled in the form, but the occupancy of your property has changed then you must declare this – for example, if you were living in your property last year, but now you have moved back to the UK and are using it as a holiday home, or if the property was previously used as a second home and you are now renting it out full-time.

Declaring a change of occupancy

From now on, any changes to the “occupation” of the property on January 1st each year (i.e. whether it’s a primary residence or second home) must be declared before June 30th of the that same year. If there are no changes, then you don’t need to re-submit the form.

What do I need to do in 2024?

If you need to fill in the Declaration d’Occupation form, this must be submitted by June 30, 2024.  You will need to fill out a separate form for each property you own.

This can be done online by logging into your personal space on the impots.gouv.fr website. For 2024, a paper form will also be made available.

Filling in the Declaration d’Occupation, France’s new property tax form

Now that we’ve established who needs to fill in the form, the next question is how. The form can be found online (a paper option will also be made available for 2024, so if you cannot access your online space, we suggest visiting your local tax office) in your ‘espace particulier’ (personal space) on the impots.gouv.fr website, under the ‘mes bien immobiliers’ (my real estate) sub-menu.

First of all, you will need to login to your account and access the form.

If you already have a French tax number and online account:

If you already live in France or have a French tax account, this is quite simple. Simply login to your ‘espace particulier’ (personal space) on the impots.gouv.fr website, locate the ‘mes bien immobiliers’ (my real estate) page and click ‘accéder’.

Here, you should see your properties listed. As in the example screenshot, you may find multiple ‘biens’ listed, either for different properties that you own or for additional structures such as a swimming pool, garage, cellar, or parking space (in this case, the two additional examples are a barn and a swimming pool). Note that recently purchased properties may not show yet – in which case, you should wait until they do appear to fill in the form. Equally, if you have recently set up your account, it may take a few days for your properties to appear.

Good news – you can also click on the Union Jack flag in the top right to access the service in English!

Click on ‘consulter’ to see the information that is already listed for each property, the ‘Descriptif de bien’. Here, you should be able to see details of the property, including the surface area in m2, the number of rooms, and the fiscal category (the number between 8 and 1 given to buildings in France, with 1 being the most sumptuous of dwellings and 8 being a dilapidated property in disrepair – a typical family home would probably rank around a 6).

*Note: If there are any mistakes, now is a good time to get this corrected. You can either get in touch with your local tax office or send them a message via your espace particulier – select ‘J’ai une question sur le descriptive de mon bien immobilieras the reason and detail the changes that need to be made.

Once you have verified the information, you can click on the ‘declaration d’occupation’ to begin the declaration. Here, if the information listed is correct, you can simply click on ‘Aucun changement’ (no change), or if you wish to update the information, click on ‘nouvelle situation’. You will then need to give the name/SIREN/marital status of the occupants of the building and the period of occupation. You can opt to declare the property as a principal residence, a second home, a rental property, or a vacant property (note that this means that the property is unfurnished and unavailable to use, not just that it is currently unoccupied).

If you don’t have a French tax account:

If you’re a non-resident and second-home owner, you may not already have an online tax account, in which case you will need to set one up before making the tax declaration. You can do this by entering your French tax number or ‘numéro fiscal’ and following the instructions to set up your account. If you have previously received French tax notices, such as the Taxe Foncière property tax, you will find this number on the top of the bill.

If you do not yet have a French tax number or ‘numéro fiscal’, you will first need to apply for a tax number in order to create your account. You can read our guide How to Get a French Numero Fiscal & Open Your Online Tax Account or head straight to this page to fill out the form online. You will need to provide:

  • Your name, date and place of birth.
  • Your email address
  • Details of your marital status
  • Your overseas residence/postal address

Enter all the information, then click ‘continue’. To finalise your request, click on the email address shown, attach a copy of your passport or ID card, and send this off.

*Note that if you are filling out a French income tax or wealth tax return for the first time, this can’t be done online – you must submit a paper form instead (read more about that here). However, for property owners who only need to submit the Declaration d’Occupation, this can be done online.

Declaration d’Occupation: FAQs About France’s New Property Tax Form

When do you need to submit the 2024 Declaration d’Occupation?

You have until June 30, 2024, to make your Declaration d’Occupation.

Do I need to fill in this form if I’m not resident in France or don’t pay taxes in France?

Yes, all French homeowners must fill in the form. This includes second-home owners, overseas residents, and landlords of French rental properties. You must fill in the declaration even if you are not tax resident in France and do not currently file a tax return or pay income tax in France.

Will l need to file this declaration every year?

No. The French government has stated that this will be a one-off form to be completed in 2023. You will not be required to submit the form again unless your situation changes; for example, you decide to move into your second home and make it your permanent residence or vice versa. 

What is the penalty for not filling in the Declaration d’Occupation?

There is a fixed fine of €150 for anyone who fails to file the Declaration d’Occupation tax form or provides an incomplete or incorrect declaration. This amount is per property. Authorities were sympathetic to the struggles some homeowners had accessing or completing the form last year and as far as we know, no fines were issued – however, this is unlikely to be the case moving forward.

Does this mean I have to pay extra taxes?

The purpose of the Declaration d’Occupation is to ensure that French homeowners still subject to the Taxe d’Habitation (i.e. second-home owners and owners of vacant properties) are correctly entered in the system and to avoid incorrect Taxe d’Habitation charges to those who use their French properties as their primary residence. Filling in this tax declaration does not mean that you will be liable for French income tax or wealth tax unless you are already. However, the information may, of course, be cross-referenced to ensure that anyone liable to pay these taxes is correctly doing so.

What should I do if I need help filling in the form?

If you need help, you can call the free helpline on 0 809 401 401 from 8.30am to 7pm Monday to Friday – although bear in mind that this is likely to be available in French only. Alternatively, you can visit your local tax office (find your nearest one here) or send them a message via your espace particulier – select ‘J’ai une question sur le descriptive de mon bien immobilieras the reason.

Paying Your Taxes in France

Whether you are moving to France, own French property, or have business interests, assets, or investments in France—FrenchEntrée is here to help with all your tax questions. Our Essential Reading articles are designed to give you an overview of the basics, from income tax and social charges to wealth tax and property taxes. However, tax laws and rates are always subject to change, and international tax liabilities can be especially complicated, so if in doubt, we always advise discussing your personal situation with one of our recommended financial or tax advisors.

Disclaimer: This guide is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice regarding any aspect of your tax planning or tax liabilities in France. FrenchEntrée cannot be held responsible for the consequences of decisions or actions you may choose to take in connection with French tax declarations or tax liabilities.

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Comments

  •  John Bibby
    2023-03-08 09:09:57
    John Bibby
    Hello, I sent a query to Zoe Smith on 7/3/23 about the completion of this form. I have a non EU account with the impots.gouv.fr and using my Taxe d'Habitation fiscal reference (13 chiffes) and completed the form up to the point of commencement date and last date of occupation but these would not be accepted, stating that there was an error. This year we are visiting France 4 times from 16/4/23 and last date of stay being 1/10/23. Our visits of about 3/4 weeks are interspersed with returns to the UK. Can you give me some guidance on what dates are needed to complete the form. I sent Zoe some screenshots of the form showing the errors.

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2023-03-08 12:24:13
      Zoë Smith
      Hi John, Thanks so much for writing in and I am doing my best to find answers to everyone's questions - it's a bit tricky as this is new for everyone, including the tax offices! The response I have had so far is that second-home owners should fill in the commencement of occupation date (i.e. when you bought the property/the date from which you have been using it as a second home), however you shouldn't need to complete the last date of occupation. From what I understand, this is only for those that have moved out/changed circumstances. As a second home owner, you therefore 'occupy' the property (as a second home) from the date you bought it until further notice.
      Please don't hesitate to use the contact section in your personal space to send any other questions to the authorities too - they seem to be quite prompt in replying. Let me know how you get on! Zoe

      REPLY