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Tax relief: definition

A tax relief is a total or partial reduction applied to the amount of tax owed by a taxpayer. Tax relief can:

  • be of legislative origin;
  • following the correction of an error in the calculation of the tax;
  • result from a claim by the taxpayer who finds an error made by the tax authorities or in the event of a request for a graceful rebate;
  • be pronounced ex officio by the tax administration.

Examples of tax relief

Housing tax relief

Since 2020, taxpayers have benefited from a progressive reduction in their housing tax. This reduction was 30% in 2021, it is 65% in 2022 and will be total in 2023.

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Property tax relief

An automatic relief of 100 euros is applied to the property tax in the following situations:

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  • When it concerns a principal residence.
  • When the owner of the property is over 65 and under 75 on 1 January of the tax date when his taxable income does not exceed certain ceilings set by the tax authorities.
  • The beneficiary of the relief must live alone, or with his spouse, or with dependents within the meaning of income tax, or with persons entitled to the same allowance.

This relief applies automatically without the taxpayer having to take any steps.

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Income tax relief

In terms of income tax, a tax relief can be applied in two situations. The tax authorities proceed ex officio with the relief after having noted an error. The taxpayer makes a claim after noticing an error on the part of the tax authorities or if he wishes to make a request for a graceful rebate.

Apply for tax relief

The request for tax relief may relate to income tax, housing tax or property tax.

The request for relief is examined on a case-by-case basis by the tax authorities. To make a request for tax relief, the taxpayer must justify his request by:

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  • an unforeseeable loss of income;
  • an exceptional circumstance (death, separation, disability);
  • a shift in the tax payment period;
  • a disproportion between the size of the tax debt and the level of income;
  • an error made by the tax administration.

The request for relief must be sent to the tax department on which the applicant’s place of taxation depends. This request can be written (sent by mail) or verbally by going directly to the tax department. For faster processing of the request, it is advisable to complete the questionnaire form 4805-SD and attach the corresponding supporting documents.

The tax administration, after examining the request, endeavors to respond as soon as possible. If no response is made within 2 months, the request is considered rejected. If the tax administration accepts the request, it sends the applicant a tax relief notice. This document mentions the amount of the relief, which can be total or partial.

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Right of recovery from the tax administration

Tax relief: when?

In terms of income tax, the taxpayer can make a claim before December 31 of the 2nd year following that of the collection of the tax.

If the request for income tax relief is the result of an error on the part of the tax administration, the taxpayer may submit a claim until December 31 of the year following that in which he had knowledge of the error.

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Regarding local taxes, the request for relief must be made before December 31 of the year following that of the collection of the tax.

With regard to the tax administration, it can proceed to an automatic tax relief until December 31 of the fourth year following that of the expiry of the claim period granted to the taxpayer.

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