CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today CLICK HERE

What is taxe d’habitation and do I have to pay it?

PUBLISHED: 16:30 02 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:52 10 May 2018

What is taxe d habitation? © Pierre Olivier Clement Mantion/Thinkstockphotos

What is taxe d habitation? © Pierre Olivier Clement Mantion/Thinkstockphotos


Taxe d’habitation is a residence tax homeowners have to pay in France, similar to UK council tax. Find out what it is, how it is calculated, who has to pay it and details of recent reforms to the tax

What is taxe d’habitation?

The taxe d’habitation is the occupier’s rates, roughly equivalent to council tax in the UK. The funds collected are split between the commune and the group of communes that the commune belongs to. TV licence fees are recovered at the same time as the taxe d’habitation, on the same demand. It should be noted that if you have more than one property in France, you will only pay the TV licence once, even if you have a TV in both properties.

Who pays taxe d’habitation?

This is due by the person residing in the property as at 1 January of the year of charge, whether this is a tenant (paying or otherwise) or the owner.

If the property is rented out for short-term holiday lets or is used as a holiday home only, the owner will normally remain liable to this charge. In years of purchase or sale of a property, the taxe d’habitation is usually payable by the vendor.

How is my taxe d’habitation rate calculated?

Similar to the taxe foncière, the tax is based on the cadastral ‘rental’ value of the property. This value is reduced by certain abatements when the property concerned is the main residence of the taxpayer. Rates are set at commune level so vary depending on where the property is situated. Taxe d’habitation demands are normally sent out in August/September, and are payable in October/November. It is possible to choose to pay the tax due in monthly instalments.


Related articles

What is taxe foncière and do I have to pay it?

10 French tax residency myths debunked


The government has declared that 80% of households won't pay taxe d'habitation from 2020 – does this include me?

In 2017 the French government announced reforms to taxe d'habiation which are expected to benefit 80% of households. The reforms are being phased in over three years so that eligible households will see a 30% reduction in their taxe d'habitation bill in 2018, a 65% reduction in 2019 and a 100% reduction in 2020. 

To qualify for the reductions a single person must have a maximum income of less than €27,000 (after tax), a couple with no children must have an income of less than €43,000 (after tax) and this increases by €6,000 for each dependent (child) in the household. TV licences are still payable and these reforms don't apply to second homes (see below). 

In May 2018 the government published a report on reforming local taxes which stated that taxe d'habitation would be completely abolished by 2021.

Who is exempt from taxe d’habitation?

People who are resident in France may be exempt from paying the taxe d’habitation due in relation to their main residence in any of the following situations:

1. They are in receipt of any of these state benefits: allocation supplémentaire d’invalidité (supplementary disability benefit); allocation de solidarité aux personnes agées (solidarity allowance for the elderly); allocation aux adultes handicaps (disabled adults’ allowance) and their income falls below certain thresholds;

2. They are over 60 years old and not liable to French wealth tax and their income falls below certain thresholds;

3. Widows and widowers of any age, who are not liable to French wealth tax and their income falls below certain thresholds;

4. They are handicapped or infirm and unable to support themselves through work and their income falls below certain thresholds.

There may be other exemptions or reductions that apply, depending on the commune and what resolutions have been passed (for instance the commune can resolve to exempt meublés de tourisme in areas which are classified as zones rurales de revitalisation). You should speak to your local tax office to obtain further details.

Who receives partial relief from taxe d’habitation?

When the above does not apply, the taxe d’habitation can still be reduced for those on low incomes, in relation to their main residence only. The reduction is calculated as the fraction of the taxe d’habitation charge which exceeds 3.44% of the taxpayer’s income (the RFR less an abatement which varies depending on the number of family shares).

The above should be carried out automatically by the French tax office, but if it has not been, you can request that they apply this.


Related articles

What are the tax implications of a Brexit for British expats?

Completing your French income tax return


What are the thresholds?

The income threshold is reviewed by reference to the revenu fiscal de reference (RFR) of the household (net income as shown on the annual French income tax demand) and the threshold varies depending on the number of family shares of the household. For a single person with one family share, the threshold is €10,815 (2017 income, for the 2018 taxe foncière/taxe d’habitation). This is increased by €2,888 for each additional half share, which means that a married couple with no dependants who benefit from two family shares would need to have an RFR of less than €16,590 (2017 income, for the 2018 taxe foncière/taxe d’habitation) to benefit from the exoneration.

Increase in taxe d’habitation for second homes

In a bid to clamp down on second homes that are empty for much of the year or are used for Airbnb-style short-term lets, the French government has authorised a steep increase in taxe d'habitation in towns where the demand for houseing outstrips supply – called 'zones tendues'. Councils will be able to increase the tax by up to 60% in 1,151 towns and cities in these 'tension zones'. Thes decision was left to individual préfectures but many are expected to leap at the opportunity to make up the gap left by scrapping the taxe d'habitation for 80% of households across France. Paris and Nice have already imposed the maximum 60% increase while St-Jean-de-Luz has imposed a 40% hike and Bordeaux a 50% increase. Other places eligible to impose the increase in taxe d'habitation for second homes are Nantes, Montpellier, Marseille, La Rochelle, Aix-en-Provence and Archachon. You can find out if your town is included on

Written by Kate Brehaut, owner of La Belle Vie (Guernsey) Limited in 2017, updated in April 2018.

Don't miss

All you need to know about the PAYE tax system in France

Explained: the changes to French wealth tax

The different tax regimes available to businesses in France


More from French Property

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Don’t get caught out – it’s as important to understand your legal obligations when selling a property in France as it is when buying one

Read more
Buying guides
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Ruth Wood looks at the French property hotspots where British buyers search for their dream home

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Seen a bargain French property that just needs a bit of work to turn it into a dream home? If your heart is set on a renovation project, do your sums first, advises architect Nick Adams

Read more
New-build property in France
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A new apartment development is available for investment in the Alpine expat haven of Annecy in Haute-Savoie

Read more
French Alps
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Why your trusty high-street bank might not be the place when it comes to getting the best currency deal

Read more
Buying guides
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Don’t be bamboozled by strange foreign exchange terms – this handy currency transfer jargon buster explains all!

Read more
Buying guides
Thursday, August 23, 2018

Is a ‘notary public’ in the UK the same as a ‘notaire’ in France?

Read more
Buying guides
Monday, July 23, 2018

Dealing with a loved one dying is difficult in any circumstances, let alone in a different country. To simplify the process as much as possible, here are the administrative procedures and legalities you need to know about when dealing with a death in France

Read more
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

With income tax soon to be deducted at source in France, how might this affect you?

Read more
Working in France
Friday, August 24, 2018

Find out how the new flat tax of 30% on income from financial investments works in France

Read more
Subscribe for

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now