A new obligation to declare occupancy has been introduced for owners of premises used for residential purposes: both individuals and legal entities are required to declare occupancy of their property by July 1, 2023.
This follows from the abolition of the taxe d'habitation (property tax) for primary residences, and will enable the tax authorities to identify premises that remain taxable (holiday homes, unoccupied homes, etc.).
Owners must indicate how the premises are occupied (personally or by a third party), the nature of the occupation (primary residence, holiday home, rented premises, premises occupied free of charge, vacant premises), the identity of the occupants (surname, first name, date of birth for an individual, name and SIREN number for a company), and the period of occupancy for each property. Indication of rent received, if any, is - for the time being - optional.
This declaration must be carried out from the “personal space” on the impot.gouv website. If the property is held by a company (e.g. SCI), the declaration must be made via the company's dedicated online space, which must be created in advance if necessary.
In the case of joint ownership, the declaration should be made by the beneficial owner.
In the case of joint ownership, only one declaration is required per property. If several declarations are filed, only the last one will be taken into account.
In the event of non-declaration, error or omission, a fixed fine of €150 per property may be applied.
Thereafter, only a change of situation will require a new declaration.
Given this cultural and legal step change, ensuring the practical challenges individuals and legal entities are complied with to ensure they are compliant will be interesting. It is important to provide the French tax authorities with correct and accurate information, as it may be used as a basis in the event of a tax audit on gift, inheritances or wealth tax return. To discuss what I think in more detail, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
27.06.23 - New update
: The French Ministry of the Economy announced that due to the influx of declarations the deadline to declare initially scheduled for 30 June had been extended to 31 July 2023.
Property owners in France should have received an email or other correspondence this week stating the legal obligation to fill in this new property tax declaration. These emails are sent out automatically, so if you have already filled in the form, don’t worry! Conversely, if you are a French property owner but haven’t received this email, please do still go ahead and make the declaration or contact your local tax office if unsure.