News Digest: Forest Fire Warnings, Tax Notices & Last Call for French Property Declarations



News Digest: Forest Fire Warnings, Tax Notices & Last Call for French Property Declarations

French tax notices are being sent out this week, it’s the deadline for filling in the new property tax declaration, and will this be the busiest weekend yet on France’s roads? Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Forest fire warnings

As heatwaves and wildfires continue sweeping Spain, Italy, and Greece, Météo France has been closely monitoring the rising temperatures in southern France in recent weeks. Today (July 25), it’s been announced that the southern department of Bouches-du-Rhône has been put on red alert (the highest level) for wildfires, with the neighbouring departments of Vaucluse and Var on orange level.

Although temperatures have fallen in the region, they remain high (around 30°C), and this, combined with high winds, has created the perfect conditions for wildfires. If you are living or travelling in the region, it’s even more crucial than ever to follow fire prevention guidelines when in woodland areas, which include refraining from smoking, lighting any kind of fire, camp cooker, or barbecue, or using any kind of mechanical tools or machinery.

You can check the alert status of your region here.

2. Tax notices and refunds issued

If you filed a French tax return this year, keep a lookout for your tax bill this week. Paper versions of the annual tax notice or avis d’imposition started arriving yesterday (July 24th), while online tax notices will be available from tomorrow (July 26th). If you owe any taxes or are due for a refund, you will be notified within the next week, but returns will be processed up until August 2nd, so don’t worry if you don’t receive yours immediately.

What about if you realise that there’s been an error? Read our French Tax FAQ: What If I’ve Made a Mistake & Need to Amend My Tax Return?

3. Declaration d’Occupation deadline

The deadline for France’s new Declaration d’Occupation, which must be filled in by all French homeowners, is next Monday, July 31st, 2023. The deadline was initially set for June 30th, but was extended after a number of technical issues and confusion over the requirements.

It’s unlikely that the deadline will be extended again, and this one-off declaration is mandatory for all property owners(including non-residents and second-home owners), so here’s your final reminder! Fines of €150 are set to be issued for non-compliance.

If you need help filling in your Declaration d’occupation, check out our handy step-by-step guide.

4. Chassé-Croisé

Finally, a word of caution for anyone travelling in France this weekend, July 28th-30th. The final weekend of July is notoriously one of the busiest weekends on French roads, nicknamed the chassé-croisé estival(the summer crossover) as it’s when July holidaymakers  (or juilletistes) return to the cities, and August holidaymakers (or aoûtiens) head out to the coast or countryside.

If you can, it’s best to avoid travelling at all over this period, but if you do, consider making an early (or late) start to avoid peak times, and be sure to leave extra time to account for traffic if you have a flight or ferry to catch. You can monitor traffic alerts and disruptions here.

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  • Godfrey Hook
    2023-07-25 06:35:17
    Godfrey Hook
    Hi Zoe, I have lived in France for a number of years and find that your information /input to be very useful (unlike some of the other sites that target expats ) very good ...keep it up. Kind regards Godfrey Hook


    • Zoë Smith
      2023-07-31 13:05:52
      Zoë Smith
      Thanks Godfrey! We're always glad to help as much as we can! Zoe