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Do you pay the French property tax on joint ownership properties?

Posted by Co-Ownership Property on 07/30/2022

In France, all property owners have to pay a tax on their property, whether it is their main home or a second home. The tax is called “taxe foncière”, and it is to be paid once a year, every year to French Revenue. In 2022 the taxe foncière was on average 15€ per sqm of the living surface, but it can vary greatly from region to region. On average, a 50 sqm apartment would cost you 750€/year in taxe foncière.

Property tax on jointly-owned or co-owned second homes: who pays?
There are many advantages to acquiring a second home jointly. You can group and therefore reduce the costs associated with a property. The French property tax (foncière) is one of them.

Who pays the property tax on second homes in a joint ownership setup (not co-ownership through a company)?
With joint ownership, everyone is liable for the property tax amount up to their pro-rata share. A single property tax notice is drawn up in the name of all the co-owners (with mention “and consorts” or “and co-owners”).

In practice, the property tax notice is sent to the majority joint owner. But for small co-joint setups (2 or 3 people) everyone may receive a letter for payment.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no exemption from property tax for second homes in the event of inheritance. When the estate is finalised, joint ownership is created between the different heirs and each pays their share.

Who pays the property tax on second homes when there is an SCI?
The property owner, the SCI (Société Civile Immobilière) is, therefore, liable for the property tax payment. The property tax notice can be sent to the manager or to the address of the registered office (as notified in the statutes of association).

But who pays the property tax (taxe foncière) in the co-ownership SCI?

The rules differ a little from joint ownership. Within an SCI, the statutes condition the participation in the property tax of each partner. The proportion may be established differently depending on the case. For example, it may be participation equal to the shares of each partner in the SCI or a larger share may be allocated to a partner who has the enjoyment of it.

? Good to know: for the acquisition of a second home for several, the SCI of allocation can be advantageous from a tax and heritage point of view. For example you easily avoid paying the French wealth tax for properties above 1.3M€ (contact us for latest)

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