What Is France’s Tourist Tax (Taxe de Sejour) and Who Pays It?


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What Is France’s Tourist Tax (Taxe de Sejour) and Who Pays It?

If you’re visiting France as a tourist or own a gite, chambre d’hôte, or campsite that you rent out, you need to know about the taxe de séjour or tourist tax, which is added to all payments. Here are all the details.

Why is there a tourist tax in France?

The tourist tax in France is collected by the area in which you stay in order to fund tourism. For example, it may be used to produce local brochures and maps aimed at attracting visitors. It can be used to renovate and update local tourist attractions such as museums and parks or for events geared toward tourism such as festivals. It can also be used to pay for extra seasonal workers who may be needed for activities or working on beaches as additional lifeguards or litter pickers, etc.

In short, it is invested to further the local tourist industry.

How much is the tourist tax (taxe de séjour)?

The Tourist Tax is calculated based on the capacity of the particular tourist accommodation, be it a campsite, a gite, a hotel, or other accommodation. It is charged on a per person, per night basis and is typically between €0.20 to €4.20 depending on the accommodation rating.

Who needs to pay the taxe de séjour?

The holidaymaker pays the tourist tax at the establishment that they have booked. It is not normally included in the reservation price but should be made clear in the terms and conditions when booking, and the amount should be clearly noted on your invoice.

It is a separate charge, and the establishment is collecting it on behalf of the local authority, and accommodation providers are duty bound to display the price of the local Tourist Tax. This information can also be found at the local Mairie.

All forms of tourist accommodation are affected by this tax except those in Rural Regeneration Zones or those subject to specific exonerations.

Prices can vary depending on the Departement, commune and classement of the establishment. For example, five-star accommodation tourists will pay more than holidaymakers staying in a two-star establishment.

You may be exempt from paying this tax if you permanently live and work in the same area – ask your Marie for advice.

How do I pay the tourist tax?

Holidaymakers will pay this charge based on a per adult, per night rate at the establishment either by cash, cheque, card or bank transfer.

Charges are set by the local area and can range from as little as forty centimes per adult per night to five euros or more.

The establishment will typically register and transmit this payment via an online system to the relevant authority. It may be made monthly, quarterly or seasonally by the establishment depending on the requirements of the area.

It may seem strange to those who are unaccustomed to paying what can be seen as an ‘additional’ charge when you arrive at your holiday accommodation; however, with the funds being used to reinvest in the local tourist economy, perhaps it is no surprise that France welcomes, on average, over ninety million tourists each year!

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Carol, a teacher from Hurworth in Darlington, lives in Charente in South-West France, where she runs La Grue Gites with her family.

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