Unlike housing tax, property tax has the merit of saving many taxpayers (tenants). But, like her, her calculation lacks rigor and, above all, its amount is constantly climbing: in 10 years, the bill has jumped by 28%, on average, in the 50 largest cities in France, a rate three times higher than inflation. Some cities had a particularly heavy hand, such as Nantes (+ 37.5%), Villeurbanne (+ 36.8%), Clermont-Ferrand or Lille (+ 36%), Saint-Denis (+ 33.6%) or Angers (+ 33.3%). And with the reform of rental values, scheduled for 2026, we can expect even wilder surges. So many reasons to make sure that you have not been cheated by the administration.
In the event of dismemberment, it is the usufructuary of the accommodation who must pay the bill. The property tax, payable on October 15 if you are not paid monthly, is due by anyone who owns built or unbuilt property (land) on January 1. So much for the general case. There are also special situations that sometimes escape the tax authorities. Thus, in the event of the dismemberment of property, it is the usufructuary who must pay the tax. In the event of a life annuity sale, it is the buyer.
If you sell your property during the year, it is up to you to pay the tax. However, you can provide in the deed that the buyer will bear the tax during the period between the signing and the end of the year. Small concern that sometimes arises: you have sold your property, but still receive the tax notice. It is then necessary to address to the center of the property taxes a request for “cadastral transfer”.
2021 ranking of the 10 most taxed cities and the 10 least taxed cities (1)
(1) Cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. (2) The tax rate, which includes the rate for the municipality, that of the intermunicipality (grouping of municipalities) and that of the department, applies to half of the theoretical annual rent of the accommodation, which is calculated by the services of State. Source: DGFIP, UNPI, Cabinet FSL.
Amount to be paid
The 40-year-old tax calculation criteria are questionable. Like the residence tax, the property tax is calculated according to the theoretical annual rental value of the property (reduced by a reduction of 50% for built properties and 20% for land). This tax is all the more open to criticism, and therefore questionable, in that it is based on 40-year-old criteria and that, from one city to another, the differences in rates are dizzying: the table above, which uses the data for 2021, shows that they commonly vary from simple to double, the record being held by Angers (56.4%), whose tax rate is four times higher than that of Paris (13.5%) .
And the worst is yet to come, since the rental values used as the basis for calculating the tax are being revised by the land registry services. They have already been raised by 3.4% at the start of 2022 and should rise further, from 2026, by 2 to 3% per year for 10 years, with peaks of almost 10% for the most beautiful homes!
To reduce the note, one may be tempted, for example, not to declare his swimming pool or his newly built veranda, equipment which increases the rental value of his property. Bad idea, because to flush out fraudsters (and impose a fine of up to 6,000 euros per illegal square meter), the tax authorities now use satellite photos. And the system is proving to be extremely effective: in 2019, during a short experiment launched in the Alpes-Maritimes, nearly 3,000 undeclared swimming pools were identified…