Local taxes

Even if you're resident outside France for tax purposes, but you have residential or business premises in France, or you own or rent land here, depending on: the nature of the property (buildings or land); and your status (tenant or owner), you will be liable for payment of either residence tax (taxe d'habitation), or property tax (taxe foncière) - or both

What are the taxes used for?
Local taxes are assessed annually and contribute to the budgets of communes, départements and the region to fund development of public infrastructure and community services.

How are they assessed?
Local taxes are assessed by the tax administration (land registry) and calculated on the basis of the rental value of the property - this being the theoretical yearly rent that an owner could derive from a property if it were rented.

All changes affecting the property (renovation, extension, additional construction, demolition, change of use) must be reported within 90 days to your local tax office (Direction des services fiscaux).

Taxable Property

Residence tax

This tax is payable by the occupant of the dwelling (whether owner or tenant) on 1st January of the tax year. It covers all furnished accommodation, together with outbuildings, situated in France.

Property tax
Property tax is also due on 1st January of the tax year. 
Buildings - property tax on buildings is payable by the owner for all buildings situated in France - including static houseboats (even if they are only secured by mooring ropes).

Land without buildings - property tax is payable either by the owner or by whoever has beneficial use of the land. For example if you allow your neighbour to grow vegetables on your land, it is your neighbour who is liable to pay tax on the land.

Exemptions

Residence tax

Diplomatic and consular agents of foreign nationality, together with certain categories of international officials, are exempted in the commune where they officially reside and for their official residence, subject to reciprocity.

Property taxes
Two-year exemptions are provided for certain new buildings under certain conditions.

Payment of taxes

You will receive an annual notice of assessment. The tax must be paid to the tax collection office (trésorerie) whose address appears on the notice of assessment. It is with this office that you should resolve any problems relating to payment of the tax.
You may pay the residence tax and property taxes:
by cheque
by direct debit, either monthly or on the payment date shown on your notice of assessment
If you choose to pay by direct debit, you must:
    have a current account in France
    complete the application form sent to you or available in your tax office
    send the form to your tax collection office .