News Digest: Tax Bills, UK Test Changes, and Half-Term Holidays



News Digest: Tax Bills, UK Test Changes, and Half-Term Holidays

Schools break up for half-term, antigen tests are introduced for travellers to the UK, plus your reminder to pay your French property taxes. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Tax Time For Property Owners

If you’re a French property owner, you should have already received your bill for your annual taxe foncière – property tax. This tax applies to all French property owners, whether you are resident in France, own a second home, or rent out your property. The deadline for online payment is tomorrow – Wednesday, October 20th – and you can pay by signing into your French tax account here.

Other looming tax deadlines include the Taxe d’habitation and the Contribution à l’audiovisuel public (CAP) (TV licence) (which is included on your Taxe d’habitation bill). Many homeowners and renters are now exempt from paying the Taxe d’habitation, but you will still need to pay your TV licence if applicable. However, all second-home owners are still liable unless your property is rented out full-time (in which case it is payable by the property occupant).

The deadlines for the Taxe d’Habitation are October 31st for payment by monthly instalments, November 15th for postal payments, and November 20th for online payments.

Read more about these in our article on French Property Taxes.

2. UK Day 2 Test Rules Change

Vaccinated travellers entering or returning to the UK are still subject to the infamous ‘Day 2 Covid test’, which requires travellers to book a Covid test prior to travelling. Tests must be booked via the UK government’s booking portal and the test number included on your passenger locator form – a legal requirement for entering the UK. Up until now, the only eligible day 2 test has been a PCR test, and although prices vary, most travellers have found themselves paying a minimum of £60 with extra costs for postage on top of that, and some tests run upwards of £100.

In an effort to reduce these costs, from October 24th (this Sunday), it will now be possible to book an antigen (lateral flow) test instead of a PCR test. Typically these tests are cheaper, but as they still must be booked through one of the government-approved test providers, there is no indication yet as to how much travellers will be able to save.

These tests will be available to book online from October 22nd, but they will only be valid for travellers arriving on or after October 24th. For the full details on travel requirements, including all the links to the relevant forms, see our article on travel between France and the UK.

3. French School Holidays

French schools break up for the October half-term holidays at the end of this week. Unlike some other holidays, which are staggered depending on which ‘zone’ you live in, the dates for the All Saints (Toussaint) vacation are the same for all French schools. See our French School Holiday Calendar for all the 2021/2022 school year dates.

4. Health Pass Extension

Today’s the day that French MPs will be debating the bill to extend France’s Health Pass (Pass Sanitaire) through summer 2022. The current bill (which mandates a Pass Sanitaire for entry to public events, bars, restaurants, sports and cultural venues) is set to expire on November 15th, but this new bill would keep the requirements in place until at least next summer.

On the contrary, there is also talk of relaxing the Health Pass rules in certain areas or limiting its use to regions with high Covid transmission rates. We’ll keep you updated when we know more.

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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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  •  Debbie Reynolds
    2021-10-20 08:20:55
    Debbie Reynolds
    Covid tests for travel to the UK do not have to be booked via the Gov portal, there are numerous companies that can be used, all that is required is the booking number to be accepted when uploading the PLF. I have used Expert Medicals several times, they were on the Gov list then removed at a cost of £28 including postage.